Investigation of the surface of the asteroid Bennuusing the spacecraft OSIRIS-REx discovered interesting features of this small celestial body. It turns out that the object is covered with a much larger number of craters than expected, and also emits particles, which, like satellites, rotate around an asteroid. This was reported on Tuesday by NASA aerospace agency on its official website.
The agency believes that the study of the asteroid Bennuwill allow us to learn more about the history of the formation of our solar system, since the object can contain samples of matter that has been preserved in its original form since the era when our system was very, very young.
“Detection of particle loops was one ofthe biggest surprises in my academic career, ”commented Dante Laurette from the University of Arizona at Tucson, who is the head of a scientific team that analyzes data obtained using the onboard scientific tools of the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft.
"The object has a very rough terrain,that it surpasses all our previous predictions. Bennu has already managed to hit us, but the exciting journey has just begun, ”adds the scientist.
On the NASA Aerospace Agency websiteit is indicated that the plumes of particles ejected from the surface of the asteroid were detected by the OSIRIS-REx probe from a distance of 1.61 kilometers on 6 January. The team of scientists of this mission decided to increase the frequency of observations of Bennu and within two months was able to witness the emissions of additional jet particles. It is noted that some like satellites turned around the asteroid and returned to its surface. In any case, the researchers conducted a test, making sure that the plumes do not pose any danger to the spacecraft.
Scientists note the high performance of the OSIRIS-Rex spacecraft and are confident that it will be able to answer even more questions when it returns to Earth in 2023.
“Only the first three months have passed since the beginningclose acquaintance with the asteroid Bennu, but they have already managed to remind us of what it is like to be surprised at new discoveries, quickly make decisions and adapt to certain conditions, ”comments Lori Glaise, acting director of the department of planetology at NASA.
"We study asteroids like Bennu in orderto better understand the history of our solar system. The OSIRIS-Rex spacecraft can help us answer some very important questions related to where we came from. ”
Recall that NASA previously appealed to space enthusiasts for help mapping stones on the surface of the asteroid Bennu.
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