Posting early this week.

For Sunday, June 30, I’m all spaced out. This is international Asteroid Day, co-founded by astrophysicist, Dr. Brian May. Name sound familiar? Perhaps you know him better as a member of Queen.

May worked with director, Grigorij Richters, to create the music for 51 Degrees, a fictional account of a post-asteroid strike London. This collaboration was the impetus for the first Asteroid Day in 2014.

bennu: who knew?

Researching Asteroid Day, I became fascinated with NASA’s Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) mission:

“The OSIRIS-REx Mission seeks answers to questions that are central to the human experience: Where did we come from? What is our destiny? OSIRIS-REx is going to Bennu, a carbon-rich asteroid that records the earliest history of our Solar System, and will be bringing a piece of it back to Earth [in 2023]. Bennu may contain the molecular precursors to the origin of life and the Earth’s oceans. Bennu is also one of the most potentially hazardous asteroids and has a relatively high probability of impacting the Earth late in the 22nd century. OSIRIS-REx will determine Bennu’s physical and chemical properties, which will be critical for future scientists to know when developing an impact mitigation mission.”

You can launch the mission here.

The name Bennu was selected from more than eight thousand student entries from dozens of countries around the world who entered a “Name That Asteroid!” contest run by the University of Arizona, the Planetary Society, and the LINEAR project in 2012. Third-grade student Michael Puzio from North Carolina proposed the name in reference to the Egyptian mythological bird Bennu. To Puzio, the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft with its extended TAGSAM arm resembled the Egyptian deity, which is typically depicted as a heron.

Follow the mission on YouTube.

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Images: Wikipedia; NASA; Goddard; University of Arizona; Asteroid; YouTube; Jeff Dahl (Bennu, deity); Travelers in the Middle East Archive (TIMEA)


June 30 is also the International Pride Day parade in New York City.

These pride pins are just a selection from the “wear it proud” project. These and other images are free to download, share, print, post from Microsoft pride 2019 project.

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