OSIRIS-REx: Asteroid 1999 RQ36 (Bennu)

The cosmos at our fingertips.
User avatar
neufer
Vacationer at Tralfamadore
Posts: 16073
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: 9618
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: 18553
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: 18553
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: 16073
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

User avatar
bystander
Apathetic Retiree
Posts: 18553
Joined: Mon Aug 28, 2006 2:06 pm
Location: Oklahoma

OSIRIS-REx Enters Close Orbit Around Bennu

Post by bystander » Tue Jan 01, 2019 8:07 pm

OSIRIS-REx Enters Close Orbit Around Bennu
NASA | University of Arizona | OSIRIS-REx | 2018 Dec 31
Click to play embedded YouTube video.

At 2:43 p.m. EST on December 31, while many on Earth prepared to welcome the New Year, NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft, 70 million miles (110 million kilometers) away, carried out a single, eight-second burn of its thrusters – and broke a space exploration record. The spacecraft entered into orbit around the asteroid Bennu, and made Bennu the smallest object ever to be orbited by a spacecraft. ...

Inching around the asteroid at a snail’s pace, OSIRIS-REx’s first orbit marks a leap for humankind. Never before has a spacecraft from Earth circled so close to such a small space object – one with barely enough gravity to keep a vehicle in a stable orbit.

Now, the spacecraft will circle Bennu about a mile (1.75 kilometers) from its center, closer than any other spacecraft has come to its celestial object of study. (Previously the closest orbit of a planetary body was in May 2016, when the Rosetta spacecraft orbited about four miles (seven kilometers) from the center of the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.) The comfortable distance is necessary to keep the spacecraft locked to Bennu, which has a gravity force only 5-millionths as strong as Earth’s. The spacecraft is scheduled to orbit Bennu through mid-February at a leisurely 62 hours per orbit.

Now that the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft is closer to Bennu, physical details about the asteroid will leap into sharper focus, and the spacecraft’s tour of this rubble pile of primordial debris will become increasingly detailed and focused. ...
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: 16073
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 1:57 pm
Location: Alexandria, Virginia

Re: OSIRIS-REx Enters Close Orbit Around Bennu

Post by neufer » Tue Jan 01, 2019 10:02 pm

bystander wrote:
Tue Jan 01, 2019 8:07 pm
OSIRIS-REx Enters Close Orbit Around Bennu
NASA | University of Arizona | OSIRIS-REx | 2018 Dec 31
Inching around the asteroid at a snail’s pace, OSIRIS-REx’s first orbit marks a leap for humankind. Now, the spacecraft will circle Bennu about a mile from its center, closer than any other spacecraft has come to its celestial object of study. The spacecraft is scheduled to orbit Bennu through mid-February at a leisurely 62 hours per orbit.
  • 2π miles per 62 hours = 0.1 mph is more like sand star pace:
https://10mosttoday.com/10-slowest-animals-in-the-world/ wrote:
<<It’s incredible, but yes – some starfish species move faster than sloths and snails! There are about 1,500 species of starfish, and most of them cannot move quickly. The leather star moves at a rate of just 15 cm a minute. But the sand star can travel at a whooping speed of 2.8 meters per minute. That’s about 0.1 mph.>>
Art Neuendorffer

User avatar
bystander
Apathetic Retiree
Posts: 18553
Joined: Mon Aug 28, 2006 2:06 pm
Location: Oklahoma

GSFC: OSIRIS-REx Reveals Asteroid Bennu Has Big Surprises

Post by bystander » Wed Mar 20, 2019 4:01 pm

OSIRIS-REx Reveals Asteroid Bennu Has Big Surprises
NASA | Goddard Space Flight Center | 2019 Mar 19
A NASA spacecraft that will return a sample of a near-Earth asteroid named Bennu to Earth in 2023 made the first-ever close-up observations of particle plumes erupting from an asteroid’s surface. Bennu also revealed itself to be more rugged than expected, challenging the mission team to alter its flight and sample collection plans, due to the rough terrain.

Bennu is the target of NASA’s Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) mission, which began orbiting the asteroid on Dec. 31. Bennu, which is only slightly wider than the height of the Empire State Building, may contain unaltered material from the very beginning of our solar system. ...

Shortly after the discovery of the particle plumes on Jan. 6, the mission science team increased the frequency of observations, and subsequently detected additional particle plumes during the following two months. Although many of the particles were ejected clear of Bennu, the team tracked some particles that orbited Bennu as satellites before returning to the asteroid’s surface.

The OSIRIS-REx team initially spotted the particle plumes in images while the spacecraft was orbiting Bennu at a distance of about one mile (1.61 kilometers). Following a safety assessment, the mission team concluded the particles did not pose a risk to the spacecraft. The team continues to analyze the particle plumes and their possible causes. ...

The OSIRIS-REx team also didn’t anticipate the number and size of boulders on Bennu’s surface. From Earth-based observations, the team expected a generally smooth surface with a few large boulders. Instead, it discovered Bennu’s entire surface is rough and dense with boulders.

The higher-than-expected density of boulders means that the mission’s plans for sample collection, also known as Touch-and-Go (TAG), need to be adjusted. The original mission design was based on a sample site that is hazard-free, with an 82-foot (25-meter) radius. However, because of the unexpectedly rugged terrain, the team hasn’t been able to identify a site of that size on Bennu. Instead, it has begun to identify candidate sites that are much smaller in radius.

The smaller sample site footprint and the greater number of boulders will demand more accurate performance from the spacecraft during its descent to the surface than originally planned. The mission team is developing an updated approach, called Bullseye TAG, to accurately target smaller sample sites. ...

The OSIRIS-REx science team has made many other discoveries about Bennu in the three months since the spacecraft arrived at the asteroid, some of which were presented Tuesday at the 50th Lunar and Planetary Conference in Houston and in a special collection of papers issued by the journal Nature. ...
Team Identifies Water-Bearing Minerals on Asteroid Bennu
Southwest Research Institute | 2019 Mar 19

A Southwest Research Institute-led team discovered evidence of abundant water-bearing minerals on the surface of the near-Earth asteroid (101955) Bennu. Using early spectral data from NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft orbiting the asteroid, the team identified infrared properties similar to those in a type of meteorite called carbonaceous chondrites. ...
Surprisingly Old Surface Discovered on Near-Earth Asteroid Bennu
Southwest Research Institute | 2019 Mar 19

A Southwest Research Institute-led team has discovered that the surface geology on asteroid Bennu is older than expected. Early observations of the near-Earth asteroid (NEA) by NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission indicate a surface that is between 100 million and 1 billion years old. ...
OSIRIS-REx Images Allow Closer Look at Boulder Breakup on Bennu
Planetary Science Institute | 2019 Mar 19

High-resolutions images of asteroid Bennu from NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft offer scientists the opportunity to analyze the processes that break down boulders on the surfaces of airless bodies ...
OSIRIS-REx Spies on the Weird, Wild Gravity of an Asteroid
University of Colorado | 2019 Mar 19

Research led by CU Boulder is revealing the Alice in Wonderland-like physics that govern gravity near the surface of the asteroid Bennu. ...
OSIRIS-REx Spacecraft Studies Asteroid Bennu Up Close
University of Arizona | 2019 Mar 19

When NASA's OSIRIS-REx spacecraft arrived at its destination, asteroid Bennu, on Dec. 3, it found a tiny world that in many respects looks like what the mission team had expected based on ground-based observations, but holds quite a few surprises, too. ...
Bennu spits plumes of dust into space
Science News | 2019 Mar 19

Like the “Peanuts” character Pigpen, the near-Earth asteroid Bennu moves around in a cloud of its own dust. ...

The unexpected surface of asteroid (101955) Bennu ~ OSIRIS-REx Team, D. S. Lauretta et al Properties of rubble-pile asteroid (101955) Bennu from OSIRIS-REx
imaging and thermal analysis
~ OSIRIS-REx Team, D. N. DellaGiustina et al Shape of (101955) Bennu indicative of a rubble pile with internal stiffness ~ OSIRIS-REx Team, O. S. Barnouin et al Craters, boulders and regolith of (101955) Bennu indicative of
an old and dynamic surface
~ OSIRIS-REx Team, K. J. Walsh et al Evidence for widespread hydrated minerals on asteroid (101955) Bennu ~ OSIRIS-REx Team, V. E. Hamilton et al The operational environment and rotational acceleration of asteroid (101955)
Bennu from OSIRIS-REx observations
~ OSIRIS-REx Team, C. W. Hergenrother et al The dynamic geophysical environment of (101955) Bennu based on
OSIRIS-REx measurements
~ OSIRIS-REx Team, D. J. Scheeres et al
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