10 things to know about Benu

This mosaic image of the asteroid Beanu is composed of 12 Polycam images collected by the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft over a range of 15 mi (24 km) on December 2, 2018. Sincerely: NASA / Goddard / University of Arizona

NASAOn December 3, 2018, the first mission to bring back an ancient asteroid sample, the asteroid Bennu, hit its target. This mission, origins, spectral interpretation, resource identification, security-resolution explorer, or Osiris-Rex, Is a seven-year-long voyage scheduled for an Earth-wide distribution of at least 2.1 ounces (60 grams) and possibly up to about four and a half pounds (two kilograms) of sample. It promises to be the largest amount of supernatural material brought back from space since the Apollo era.

The 20-anniversary of the asteroid discovery was in September 2019 – and scientists have been collecting data ever since. Here we already know (and some of what we hope to find out) about this ancient relic from the early days of our solar system.

1. It is very, very dark…

Benue is classified as a B-type asteroid, which means that it and its various minerals, as well as contain a lot of carbon. Benue’s carbon content forms a surface on the asteroid that reflects about four percent of the light that hits it – and that’s not much. In contrast, the brightest planet in the solar system, Venus, Represents about 65 percent of the incoming sunlight, and the Earth about 30 percent. Bennu is a carbonated asteroid that has not undergone a drastic, composition-altering change, meaning that its further down-pitch-black surface is chemicals and rocks since the birth of the solar system.

2.… and very, very old.

Bennu has been (mostly) obsolete for billions of years. Not only is it easily closed and carbonized, it is also so primitive that scientists calculate it in the first 10 million years of our solar system’s history – 4.5 billion years ago. Thanks to the Yarkowski effect – when the asteroid absorbs sunlight and absorbs that energy as heat – and re-emits gravity from other celestial bodies, it is closer to Earth than its potential birthplace. Has gone close to: the main asteroid belt Mars And Jupiter.

3. Bennu is a “wrecking-pile” asteroid – but don’t you name trick.

Is Beanu a Space Trash or a Scientific Treasure? While the “pile of debris” sounds like an insult, it is actually an actual astronomy classification. Debris-piled asteroids such as beanu are celestial bodies made up of many pieces of rocky debris that gravitate together. Such deteritus is produced when an impact shatters a very large body (for Benue, it was a parent asteroid 60 miles away [about 100 km] Wide). Bennu, by contrast, is as tall as the Empire State Building. It is likely that it will take just a few weeks to encapsulate these pieces of space debris into a debris-pile. Benue is full of holes inside, 20 to 40 percent of its volume is empty. The asteroid is actually in danger of flying, if it starts moving too fast or interacts too closely with a planetary body.

4. Asteroids May Harbor hint about the origin of all life on Earth…

Bennu is a primary artwork preserved in the nothingness of space, orbiting between planets and moons and asteroids and comets. Because it is very old, bean may be made of material containing molecules that were present when life first formed on Earth. All life forms of the Earth are based on a series of carbon atoms bound to carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen and other elements. However, like biological scientists, Benue is expected to find biological material in a sample that does not necessarily always come from biology. However, it will further explore scientists’ quest to uncover the role of asteroids enriched in organisms that catalyze life on Earth.

5.… but also platinum and gold!

Supernatural jewelry looks great, and Benue is likely to be richer in platinum and gold than the average crust on Earth. Although most are not made entirely of solid metal (but the asteroid may be 16 psyches!), Many asteroids contain elements that can be used industrially in exchange for Earth’s finite resources. Studying this asteroid closely will answer questions about whether asteroid mining is possible during exploration and travel in deep space. Although rare metals attract the most attention, water is likely to be the most important resource in Benue. Water (two hydrogen atoms bound to one oxygen Atom) Can be used for drinking or its components can be separated to breathe and get fuel into the air. Given the high cost of transporting material to space, if astronauts can extract water from an asteroid for life support and fuel, Cosmic Beyond is closer than it would be to be human-accessible.

6. Sunlight can change the asteroid’s entire trajectory.

Gravity is not the only factor associated with the destiny of bean. The side of the benu facing the sun is warmed by sunlight, but a day in the bennu lasts for only 4 hours and 17.8 minutes, so the part of the surface that is continuously facing the sun. As Bennu continues to rotate, it expels this heat, which gives the asteroid a small push toward the Sun about 0.18 miles (about 0.29 kilometers) per year, changing its orbit.

7. There is a small possibility that Bennu will affect the Earth in the next century.

Benue was discovered in 1999 by the NASA-funded Lincoln Near-Earth Asteroid Research Team. NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office continues to monitor Earth’s objects (NEOs), especially those that favor Benue that will come within approximately 4.6 million miles (7.5 million kilometers) of Earth’s orbit and as potentially dangerous objects. Are classified. Between the years 2175 and 2199, the likelihood that Beanu will affect the Earth is only 1-in-2,700, but scientists still don’t want to turn their backs on the asteroid. Bennu swoops through the solar system on a path that scientists have confidently predicted, but they will refine their predictions with measurements of the Yarkowski effect by OSIRIS-REx and future observations by astronomers.

NASA OSIRIS REx Match Point Rehearsal

Captured on August 11, 2020, during the second rehearsal of the OSIRIS-REx mission’s sample collection event, this series of images shows the SAMAMAGER imager’s field of view as NASA’s spacecraft orbited the asteroid Bennu’s surface. The rehearsal brought it to a point about 131 feet (40 m) above the surface through the first three maneuvers of the sampling sequence, after which the spacecraft performed a back-burn. Sincerely: NASA / Goddard / University of Arizona Full Story

8. Sampling Benue Will Be Harder Than We Won’t Thought.

Early Earth-based observations of the asteroid suggested that it had a smooth surface with a regolith (the top layer of loose, unconstable material) made up of particles less than an inch (a couple of centimeters long) – at most. As the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft was able to take photographs with higher resolution, it became clear that Benue’s sample would be far more dangerous than previously believed: the new imagery of Benue’s surface shows that it is a massive boulder. Is covered in, not on small rocks. OSIRIS-REx was designed to navigate within an area of ​​about 2,000 square yards (m) on Benue, the size of a parking lot with approximately 100 locations. Now, it must maneuver for a safe space on the rocky surface of Benue, an area of ​​about five parking spots, within a tightening of less than 100 square yards.

Nightingale sample site on Beanu

This diagram shows the primary sample collection site on the asteroid Bennu of the sampling site Nightingale, OSIRIS-REX. The image is overlaid with a graphic of the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft to illustrate the scale of the site. Sincerely: NASA / Goddard / University of Arizona

9. Benue was named after an ancient Egyptian deity.

Benue’s name was won in 2013 by a nine-year-old boy from North Carolina who won Name of that asteroid! A collaboration between the competition, the mission, the Planetary Society and the Liner Asteroid Survey that led to the discovery of Benue. Michael Poozio won the competition by suggesting that the arm and solar panels of the touch-and-go sample mechanism (TAGSAM) of the spacecraft closely resemble the neck and wings, which appear in the portrait of Benue, which the ancient Egyptians usually But in the form of a brown heron. Bennu is the ancient Egyptian god associated with the Sun, creation and rebirth – Poozio also said that Bennu is the living symbol of Osiris. The myth of Benue corresponds to the asteroid, seeing that it is a primitive object that dates back to the creation of the solar system. The themes of origins and rebirth are part of the story of this asteroid. Birds and creatures like birds are also symbols of rebirth, creation and origin in various ancient myths.

10. Benu is still surprising us!

The navigation camera of the spacecraft noticed that Bennu was spewing streams of particles once or twice every week. Apparently Benue is not only a rare active asteroid (only a handful of them have been identified so far), but possibly with Ceres discovered by NASA’s Dawn mission, seen by humanity from the first spacecraft of its kind . Recently, the mission team discovered that sunlight could crack rocks on Benue, and another asteroid fragment scattered on its surface. More pieces will be added to Benue’s cosmic puzzle as the mission progresses, and each brings the history of the development of the solar system into focus faster and faster.

Asteroid Bennu Crystals

On January 19, 2019, this view of the asteroid Beanu, which ejects particles from its surface, was created by combining two images taken on NASA’s OSIRIS-REX spacecraft. Other image processing techniques were also applied, such as cropping and adjusting the brightness and contrast of each image. Credit: NASA / Goddard / University of Arizona / Lockheed Martin

Goddard provides overall mission management, systems engineering and security and mission assurance for OSIRIS-REx. Dent Lauretta of the University of Arizona, Tucson, is the lead investigator, and the University of Arizona also leads the science team and the mission’s science observation plan and data processing. Lockheed Martin Space in Denver built the spacecraft and is providing flight operations. Goddard and Canatex Aerospace are responsible for navigating the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft. OSIRIS-REX is the third mission of NASA’s New Frontiers program, managed by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, for the agency’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington.