NASA has published the thermal map of the asteroid Bennu

NASA Space Agency, together withThe University of Arizona and Lockheed Martin are actively pursuing the OSIRIS-REx mission. Within its framework, researchers are studying the surface of the near-Earth asteroid Bennu - they have already identified an interesting feature of its rotation and made detailed pictures of boulders. Now the project team shared a thermal map of the space object - it turned out that there are sharp differences in the surface temperature, and there is an explanation for this.

The data on the basis of which the thermalmap, were collected onboard spectrometers OTES and OVIRS in November 2018. So, thanks to the interplanetary station OSIRIS-REx, researchers have learned that the surface temperature of the asteroid ranges from -73 to +76 degrees Celsius. It is noteworthy that the distance between two points with such a large temperature difference is only 250 meters.

Researchers have a very simple such a phenomenon - the asteroid Bennu does not have an atmosphere, therefore heat is unevenly distributed over its surface. Thus, the temperature of the regions directly depends on the amount of sunlight they receive. You can see the heat map animation on the project website.

Surface temperature information is crucial.for NASA, because in July 2020, the interplanetary station will move closer to the asteroid and collect soil samples. The collected 60 grams of dust and rock samples will be delivered to Earth in September 2023 and will be thoroughly studied.

A similar matter is currently engaged stationHayabusa-2, which recently created a crater on the surface of the asteroid Ryugu. It is expected that among the collected soil will be rocks that have not been subjected to external influence since the formation of the solar system. More information about the bombardment of the asteroid can be found in our material.

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