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Last week a NASA probe collected a sample of rocks from an asteroid.

However, the probe collected so much material that a rock has been wedged in the probe door, meaning that some rocks that were collected are spilling back into space!

The probe, OSIRIS-REx, collected a sample from a skyscraper-sized asteroid some 320 million km from Earth. The aim is for the probe to return the material to Earth for research.

The leakage had the OSIRIS-REx mission team scrambling to stow the collection device to prevent additional spillage.

NASA will not know how much material it collected until the sample capsule returns in 2023.

Asteroids are among the leftover debris from the solar system’s formation some 4.5 billion years ago. A sample could hold clues to the origins of life on Earth, scientists say.

The hottest temperature in recent records has been reached at Death Valley, California, USA.

An extreme high of 54.4°C was recorded on Sunday.

“This observed high temperature is considered preliminary and not yet official,” a statement from the National Weather Service said.

“If verified, this will be the hottest temperature officially verified since July of 1913, also at Death Valley.”

Death Valley’s all-time record high was recorded on 10 July 2013, when it reached 56.7°C! That reading still stands as the hottest ever recorded on the planet’s surface.

Scientists have found a type of kelp that’s around 16,000 years old!

A team from Heriot-Watt University think the type of seaweed has survived since the last Ice Age.

Scientists will now investigate how it has survived for so long, especially focusing on how marine plant life survives extreme changes in climate.

They found it off the coast of Scotland, Ireland and around Brittany in France.

One of the marine ecologists said, “Kelp plays a critical role in the Atlantic so it is important to understand what affects its distribution and survival over time and how sensitive it is to change.”

There are around 30 different types of kelp, and the one that scientists found in this case is called oarweed.

A study has unveiled what scientists think is the world’s biggest dinosaur.

A study, written by palaeontologist Gregory Paul, believe enormous dinosaur known as Argentinosaurus is the biggest ever.

The Argentinosaurus is believed to have lived between around 100 million and 90 million years ago.

The animal was first described in the early 1990s after several giant bones were found in Argentina.

Paul used new techniques to estimate the masses of the biggest dinosaurs known to science.

He found that the largest dinosaur by body mass was indeed Argentinosaurus, estimating that it had a mass of 65-75 tons.

Scientists have developed a new system to monitor pollution from space.

The American, South Korea, and the European Space Agency have worked together on space-based instruments to measure global air quality.

For the first time, scientists will be able to track pollution from space on an hourly basis.

The first instrument was launched on February 18th, which flew into space mounted on a Korean satellite.

NASA plans to send a nearly identical instrument to space aboard a commercial communications satellite in 2022.

They’ll be followed by the European Space Agency’s two instruments that will join its existing air quality monitoring satellites, with the first taking off in 2023.

The data they collect will boost efforts to reign in pollutants including nitrogen dioxide, smog, formaldehyde, and aerosols.

The satellite-mounted instruments will also be able to see whether pollution within a certain region was generated there or whether it wafted over from another country.

Older space-based instruments are limited. They have only been able to measure air pollution once a day. They pass over any given point on Earth at the same time each day.

The fossil of a 43-million-year-old whale with four legs, webbed feet and hooves has been discovered in Peru.

Palaeontologists believe the marine mammal’s four-metre-long body was adapted to swim and walk on land.

The semi-aquatic whale has been compared to an otter or a beaver….. just larger!

It was found in marine sediments 1km inland from Peru’s Pacific coast, at Playa Media Luna.

The scientists that found it have named it Peregocetus pacificus, meaning “the travelling whale that reached the Pacific”.C

A new image from Japan’s Hayabusa-2 spacecraft reveals a dark splodge where it touched down on the surface of an asteroid Ryugu last week.

The discolouration could have been caused by grit being blown upwards by the spacecraft’s thrusters, or by the bullet it fired into the ground.

The purpose of the touchdown on the asteroid was to collect samples of rock to hopefully bring back to Earth.

On touchdown, a 5g “bullet” made of the metal tantalum was fired into the rocky surface at 300m/s.

The particles kicked up by the impact should have been be caught by the sampler horn.

Hayabusa-2 arrived at Ryugu in June 2018 after a 3.2 billion km journey. Since then it has been hovering above the asteroid at about 20km distance from the asteroid’s surface.

A Japanese billionaire will make history as the first private passenger to take a trip around the moon.

Yusaku Maezawa will be the first SpaceX passenger to the moon.

The 42-year-old is the founder of Japan’s largest online fashion retailer, Zozotown. In his sparetime he is an art enthusiast.

As part of the trip he is inviting up to eight artists to go with him, planning to turn the entire ride into an art project.

The entrepreneur bought all the available seats that were for sale. The passengers will spend about a week in space. When they return they will create an art creation entitled “dearMoon“.

The trip is planned for 2023. It will be the first time someone has travelled to the moon since the Apollo Mission in 1972.

But this trip won’t involve a lunar landing. The first prototype spacecraft is currently under construction, and Mr Musk hopes to begin test flights in 2019.

You may recognise the voice of Sir David Attenborough from shows such as Blue Planet. Yesterday that world famous voice spoke at a big conference about climate change.

He was speaking at the opening ceremony of United Nations-sponsored climate talks in Katowice, Poland.

The meeting is the most critical on climate change since the 2015 Paris agreement.

Sir David said: “Right now, we are facing a man-made disaster of global scale. Our greatest threat in thousands of years. Climate change.

“If we don’t take action, the collapse of our civilisations and the extinction of much of the natural world is on the horizon.”.

The conference is called COP24 – which stands for Conference of Parties.

It is a meeting where lots of governments are coming together to discuss what to do after a climate change report came out in October saying global temperature rises should be limited to 1.5°C.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said that this could only be achieved if greenhouse gases are cut by 45% by 2030 – which is a big change!

US space agency Nasa has landed a new robot on Mars after a dramatic seven-minute plunge to the surface of the Red Planet.

The robot is called the InSight probe and it aims to study the deep interior of Mars.

This will make it the only planet – apart from Earth – that has been examined in this way.

Nasa’s mission control in California erupted with delight when it became clear InSight was safe on the ground.

The probe landed safely on a flat plain known as Elysium Planitia, close to the Red Planet’s equator.

Engineers are currently awaiting a health report and a picture from the probe that shows its surroundings.

What is different about this mission?
This will be the first probe to dedicate its investigations to understanding Mars’ interior.

Scientists want to know how the world is constructed – from its core to its crust. InSight has three principal experiments to achieve this goal.

The first is a package of Franco-British seismometers that will be lifted on to the surface to listen for “Marsquakes”. These vibrations will reveal where the rock layers are and what they are made of.

A German “mole” will burrow up to 5m into the ground to take the planet’s temperature. This will give a sense of how active Mars still is.

And the third experiment will use radio transmissions to very precisely determine how the planet is wobbling on its axis.