Researchers have learned to study the history of asteroids from their scars. To do this, they used photographs and laser radiation.
Having studied the impact marks on the surface of the asteroid Bennu, the target of NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission. A team of researchers led by the University of Arizona was able to study the past of the asteroid and found that, despite the formation of the asteroid hundreds of millions of years ago, “Bennu” only recently came close to Earth.
This study, published in the journal Nature, is a blueprint for understanding the evolution of asteroids. The data will help scientists envision an understudied population of space objects and deepen their understanding of understudied parts of the solar system.
The researchers used images and laser measurements from the two-year survey phase when the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft entered Bennu orbit. The device broke the record and became the smallest spacecraft to launch into orbit.
An article presented on the opening day of the American Astronomical Society’s Division of Planetary Sciences meeting details the first observations and measurements of impact craters. On average, a group of scientists discovered stones ranging in size from 1 meter and more, in which scars formed tens of centimeters in size.
The robotic interplanetary mission OSIRIS-REx arrived at the asteroid Bennu at the end of 2018. The spacecraft was launched into orbit around the asteroid, and on October 20 landed on its surface and took a soil sample. The process of placing the samples is complicated by the fact that the probe is located at a distance of about 330 million kilometers from the Earth.