Study of the surface of the asteroid Bennu with the help of the spacecraft OSIRIS-REx revealed some interesting features of this small celestial body. It turns out that the object covered a larger number of craters than expected, and emits plumes of particles which are like satellites that revolve around the asteroid. On Tuesday announced space Agency NASA on its official website.
The Agency believes that the study of asteroid Bennu will allow you to learn more about the history of the formation of our Solar system, because the object may contain samples of matter, preserved intact from the era when our system was very, very young.
“The discovery of plumes of particles has become one of the biggest surprises in my scientific career,” says Dante Lauretta of the University of Arizona in Tucson, which is the head of the research group involved in the analysis of data obtained by on-Board scientific instruments of the spacecraft OSIRIS-REx.
“The object has much rugged that it exceeds our earlier predictions. Benn has managed to impress us, but an exciting journey has just begun,” adds the scientist.
On the website space Agency NASA show that plumes of particles, thrusting from the surface of the asteroid, was discovered by the probe OSIRIS-REx from a distance 1.61 kilometers 6 Jan. A team of scientists of the mission decided to increase the frequency of observations of Bennu and within two months was able to witness the emission of extra jets of particles. It is noted that some like the companions turned around the asteroid and came back to the surface. In any case, the researchers conducted the test, making sure that the plumes do not pose any danger to the spacecraft.
Scientists have noted high performance of the spacecraft OSIRIS-Rex and are confident that he will be able to answer more number of questions when I get back to Earth in 2023.
“Only spent the first three months since the beginning of acquaintance with asteroid Bennu, but they have already managed to remind us what it’s like to wonder and new discoveries, to make decisions quickly and adapt to certain conditions,” commented Lori glaze, acting Director of the division for planetary science at NASA.
“We are studying asteroids like Bennu to better understand the history of our Solar system. The spacecraft OSIRIS-Rex will be able to help us answer some very important questions related to where we come from.”
We will remind that earlier the Agency NASA appealed to enthusiasts of the cosmos with a ask for help to the mapping of the stones on the surface of the asteroid Bennu.