Space

NASA finds near-Earth asteroid ejecting particles from surface

The asteroid Bennu projects particles from its surface.
The asteroid Bennu ejecting particles from its surface on Jan. 19, as seen from cameras aboard NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft. Photo: NASA

The near-Earth asteroid Bennu is an active asteroid that periodically ejects rocky material into space, according to early results from NASA's OSIRIS-REx Mission.

Why it matters: This is surprising, as the vast majority of known asteroids are inactive. In addition, NASA scientists hoping to land a spacecraft on Bennu to take samples back to Earth in 2023 have found the asteroid contains larger rocks than earlier thought, which could complicate the sampling mission.

British satellite company Inmarsat gets private equity buyout

In this illustration, a satellite points white beams into the sky.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Inmarsat, a British satellite company, said it received a non-binding $3.3 billion takeover offer from a private equity consortium that includes Apax Partners, Warburg Pincus and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board.

Why it matters: This is yet another big-money example of buyout firms returning to a familiar well, as Apax had helped buy Inmarsat in 2003 before later taking it public. It also comes about a year after Inmarsat turned down a $3.2 billion takeover bid from Echostar.

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