Free Astronomy Magazine – January-February 2021 Issue Available For Reading And Download

Above: The OSIRIS-REx TAGSAM on touch-down at the Nightingale sampling site on Bennu. [NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona]

The most recent issue of Free Astronomy Magazine (January-February 2021) is available for your reading and downloading pleasure at

This issue marks a bit of a change in format under the direction of our fearless leader Michele Ferrara. PDF or not, there are only so many hours and pages one can commit to all that goes into writing, editing, and formatting. This is contrast to the seemingly unlimited (+/-) number of studies getting published and discussed that an editor would really like others to see. Add in the desire to include some additional context to bridge the gap between what a reader is reading and what else you (as the writer) think is worth stressing about the broader scope of the study, and you see how daunting a task it is for a few (5?) people (total) to try to sample everything bimonthly to everyone's satisfaction.

"I’m sorry I wrote you such a long letter. I didn’t have time to write you a short one." – Blaise Pascal (d. 1662. And, for those now asking in their noggin, “History never repeats itself, but it rhymes.” – Mark Twain, b. 1835)

After several years of feature articles surpassing the +10 page mark, the recent change now features more shorter articles covering a bit more variety but, with a 6-ish page limit, a less broad analysis and discussion for each.

This month's contribution from here (with my NASA Solar System Ambassador helmet on) is about the successful sample collection and return prep by OSIRIS-REx at Bennu. Astronomical mythology nut, I opted to wrap in a bit of the olde stories for both Osiris and Bennu before digging into the much older aspects of accretion theory and the upcoming issues of planetary defense.

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Jump to the PDF download (14.7 MB): January-February 2021