Asteroids: NASA releases a detailed map of asteroid Bennu's surface
One of the asteroids that NASA is keeping tabs on is referred to as Bennu, and the agency is currently on a mission to collect samples from the space rock. At the same time, NASA has put together photos taken of the asteroid, with the result being a very detailed map of the surface.
Express reports that the photos taken from asteroid Bennu from March to April 2019 were put together by the agency and corrected to produce one singular image of the asteroid. The mosaic image was made up of 2,155 PolyCam photos, showing the rock in incredible detail, with two inches per pixel. This would so far be the first time an asteroid was mapped this clearly.
The Osiris-REx spacecraft photographed the asteroid from distances of 3.1 to 5 kilometers away from the surface of the rock. This view of Bennu was utilized by the mission team in order to collect samples while choosing the sample sites. Space enthusiasts can download the images of Bennu to see for themselves for free.
By the summer, the agency’s Osiris-REx mission will try and touch the surface of the asteroid Bennu for the first time. The spacecraft will then collect a sample, then leave. Unfortunately, since the spacecraft arrived at Bennu in 2019, they have hit setbacks as the surface of the asteroid is covered in large boulders. Luckily, making use of these boulders as signposts, the team figured out a new method of navigating the rock’s surface called Natural Feature Tracking.
This method would have extensive navigation capabilities and would play a big part in executing what is referred to as the Bullseye Tag, which can bring the spacecraft into a smaller sampling area.
In other related news, experts previously discovered a mysterious flying object entering Earth’s orbit. This UFO stirred excitement among space and alien enthusiasts after it was said to be a new mini-moon of Earth. However, scientists say that it is too early to say what this mysterious flying object was and that more research is needed to properly determine what it is. Some scientists believe that this UFO is an artificial object, whereas others have said it may be an old satellite or space debris.