OSIRIS-REx: Asteroid 1999 RQ36 (Bennu)

The cosmos at our fingertips.
User avatar
neufer
Vacationer at Tralfamadore
Posts: 15507
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 1:57 pm
Location: Alexandria, Virginia

Re: OSIRIS-REx: Asteroid 1999 RQ36 (Bennu)

Post by neufer » Thu Dec 06, 2018 2:46 pm


Ann wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 9:46 am

How weird. Bennu is a square asteroid with what appears to be a discarded piece of square or rectangular tarpaulin lying about near its south pole.

I guess the little Bennu-beings wrap the tarpaulin around them when it is time to bed down and go to sleep at night (whenever that is on Bennu), or else the square object might be a door protecting the opening to the Bennu-beings' underground homestead.
Art Neuendorffer

User avatar
Ann
4725 Å
Posts: 9169
Joined: Sat May 29, 2010 5:33 am

Re: OSIRIS-REx: Asteroid 1999 RQ36 (Bennu)

Post by Ann » Thu Dec 06, 2018 3:44 pm

neufer wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 2:46 pm

Ann wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 9:46 am

How weird. Bennu is a square asteroid with what appears to be a discarded piece of square or rectangular tarpaulin lying about near its south pole.

I guess the little Bennu-beings wrap the tarpaulin around them when it is time to bed down and go to sleep at night (whenever that is on Bennu), or else the square object might be a door protecting the opening to the Bennu-beings' underground homestead.
Munchkin country, eh?

I bet the Munchkin cats live there. They live there because it's blue, and they love blue things.

Click to play embedded YouTube video.
Ann
Color Commentator

User avatar
bystander
Apathetic Retiree
Posts: 17771
Joined: Mon Aug 28, 2006 2:06 pm
Location: Oklahoma

Planetary Defense: The Bennu Experiment

Post by bystander » Fri Dec 07, 2018 5:35 pm

Planetary Defense: The Bennu Experiment
NASA | JPL-Caltech | OSIRIS-REx | 2018 Dec 06

On Dec. 3, after traveling billions of kilometers from Earth, NASA's OSIRIS-REx spacecraft reached its target, Bennu, and kicked off a nearly two-year, up-close investigation of the asteroid. It will inspect nearly every square inch of this ancient clump of rubble left over from the formation of our solar system. Ultimately, the spacecraft will pick up a sample of pebbles and dust from Bennu's surface and deliver it to Earth in 2023.

Generations of planetary scientists will get to study pieces of the primitive materials that formed our cosmic neighborhood and to better understand the role asteroids may have played in delivering life-forming compounds to planets and moons.

But it's not just history that the mission to Bennu will help uncover. Scientists studying the rock through OSIRIS-REx's instruments in space will also shape our future. As they collect the most detailed information yet about the forces that move asteroids, experts from NASA's Planetary Defense Coordination Office, who are responsible for detecting potentially hazardous asteroids, will improve their predictions of which ones could be on a crash-course with our planet. ...
Know the quiet place within your heart and touch the rainbow of possibility; be
alive to the gentle breeze of communication, and please stop being such a jerk.
— Garrison Keillor

User avatar
bystander
Apathetic Retiree
Posts: 17771
Joined: Mon Aug 28, 2006 2:06 pm
Location: Oklahoma

OSIRIS-REx Discovers Water on Bennu

Post by bystander » Tue Dec 11, 2018 4:12 pm

Newly Arrived OSIRIS-REx Already Discovers Water on Asteroid
NASA | Goddard | OSIRIS-REx | 2018 Dec 10
Recently analyzed data from NASA’s Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) mission has revealed water locked inside the clays that make up its scientific target, the asteroid Bennu.

During the mission’s approach phase, between mid-August and early December, the spacecraft traveled 1.4 million miles (2.2 million km) on its journey from Earth to arrive at a location 12 miles (19 km) from Bennu on Dec. 3. During this time, the science team on Earth aimed three of the spacecraft’s instruments towards Bennu and began making the mission’s first scientific observations of the asteroid. OSIRIS-REx is NASA’s first asteroid sample return mission.

Data obtained from the spacecraft’s two spectrometers, the OSIRIS-REx Visible and Infrared Spectrometer (OVIRS) and the OSIRIS-REx Thermal Emission Spectrometer (OTES), reveal the presence of molecules that contain oxygen and hydrogen atoms bonded together, known as “hydroxyls.” The team suspects that these hydroxyl groups exist globally across the asteroid in water-bearing clay minerals, meaning that at some point, Bennu’s rocky material interacted with water. While Bennu itself is too small to have ever hosted liquid water, the finding does indicate that liquid water was present at some time on Bennu’s parent body, a much larger asteroid. ...

Additionally, data obtained from the OSIRIS-REx Camera Suite (OCAMS) corroborate ground-based telescopic observations of Bennu and confirm the original model developed in 2013 by OSIRIS-REx Science Team Chief Michael Nolan and collaborators. That model closely predicted the asteroid’s actual shape, with Bennu’s diameter, rotation rate, inclination, and overall shape presented almost exactly as projected. ...

UA-Led OSIRIS-REx Discovers Water on Asteroid Bennu
University of Arizona | 2018 Dec 10

Observations made by the spacecraft during its approach of Bennu reveal that that the asteroid interacted with water in its early history and is an excellent specimen for the mission, which is slated to return a sample of surface material to Earth in 2023. ...

ASU Instrument on NASA Probe Finds Hydrated Minerals on Asteroid Bennu
Arizona State University | School of Earth and Space Exploration | 2018 Dec 10

An ASU spectrometer on NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft has found strong spectral evidence that the asteroid’s rocks have undergone interactions with water at some point in their history. ...

First Images from OSIRIS-REx Have Scientists Buzzing with Excitement
University of Central Florida | 2018 Dec 10
Know the quiet place within your heart and touch the rainbow of possibility; be
alive to the gentle breeze of communication, and please stop being such a jerk.
— Garrison Keillor

User avatar
neufer
Vacationer at Tralfamadore
Posts: 15507
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 1:57 pm
Location: Alexandria, Virginia

Re: OSIRIS-REx Discovers Water on Bennu

Post by neufer » Tue Dec 11, 2018 6:09 pm

Click to play embedded YouTube video.
bystander wrote:
Tue Dec 11, 2018 4:12 pm

UA-Led OSIRIS-REx Discovers Water on Asteroid Bennu
University of Arizona | 2018 Dec 10
Observations made by the spacecraft during its approach of Bennu reveal that that the asteroid interacted with water in its early history and is an excellent specimen for the mission, which is slated to return a sample of surface material to Earth in 2023. ...
:arrow: First Images from OSIRIS-REx Have Scientists Buzzing with Excitement University of Central Florida | 2018 Dec 10
Art Neuendorffer