The recent understanding of the formation of two asteroids was made after examining NASA’s OSIRIS-Rex mission. The process was indeed overwhelming, but the results are incredible.
Scientists think to have discovered the origin of the development of asteroids Bennu and Ryugu. Here is what you need to know.
Asteroids Bennu and Ryugu: Again in the Spotlight
The new study was led by a team of scientists at the University of Arizona. They studied NASA’s OSIRIS-Rex, the first asteroid sample return mission. What they discovered is truly incredible.
The team unveils now that Bennu and Ryugu are made of the pieces of more prominent cosmic features that broke into lots of fragments when collided with other space objects. So, it seems like both asteroids have risen from the collision of the same parent body.
“These asteroids either formed directly as top-shapes or achieved the shape early after their formation in the main asteroid belt,” stated Ronald Ballouz, the co-lead of the research.
Besides their shape, the asteroids have water-bearing surface material in the form of clay minerals. But Ryugu’s surface is less water-rich compared to Bennu’s. Such a thing indicates that Ryugu’s surface might have encounter more heating.
Asteroid Bennu and Ryugu So Far
Asteroid Bennu is a carbonaceous asteroid spotted by the LINEAR Project in 1999. It has a diameter of 490m and has been observed with the Goldstone Deep Space Network, and the Arecibo Observatory planetary radar.
Bennu is the main target of the OSIRIS-Rex mission, which is expected to return samples to Earth in 2023 for further research. The OSIRIS-Rex spacecraft arrived at Bennu on 3 December 2018, after a two-year journey.
The asteroid Ryugu measures 1 km in diameter and is a dark object of the unique spectral type Cb, with features of both a B-type and C-typer asteroid. The spacecraft Hayabusa2 arrived in June 2018 at the asteroid and, after taking samples and making measurements, left for Earth in November 2019.
Claire is an astronomy buff. She will bring news about science and space. However, she is also addicted to her iPhone, so she will also cover iOS-specific articles. Mostly, she will please our readers with space-related topics, but she will also post articles on the Apple universe, from now and then — Just another type of Universe.