Not to be outdone by their ESA colleagues, NASA is sending a spacecraft to an asteroid to bring a piece of it back. Her name is OSIRIS-REx, and she will be visiting Bennu—great name for an outpost in a sci-fi movie—one of the primordial asteroids that have been orbiting the Sun for millions of years. This is why:
This is a photograph of a giant boulder on top of another giant boulder. And by another giant boulder we mean Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. The image was captured by Rosetta's OSIRIS narrow-angle camera from a distance of 17.7 miles (28.5 km).
Just out from Nightshade Books is Osiris, the first novel from London author E. J. Swift, and the first in a trilogy called The Osiris Project. We've got an excerpt.
Light degrades the second it hits our atmosphere, making terrestrial astronomy and the search for dim or distant stars tricky. The Gran Telescopio Canarias observatory is the world's largest single-aperture optical telescope, and it's got some ingenious ways to compensate.