NASA spotted pieces of asteroid Vesta ranging in size from five to 14 feet scattered across Bennu's southern hemisphere and near its center. The boulders were detected in images from the OSIRIS-Rex and appear much brighter than the surrounding area of dark, rich carbon. The team analyzed the chunks using an on-board spectrometer and found signs of the mineral pyroxene - a known compound on Vesta. NASA theorizes the material came from Bennu's parent asteroid that was struck by a fragment from Vesta. NASA spotted pieces of asteroid Vesta ranging in size from five to 14 feet scattered across Bennu's southern hemisphere and near its center. Hannah Kaplan of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, said: 'Our leading hypothesis is that Bennu inherited this material from its parent asteroid after a vestoid (a fragment from Vesta) struck the parent.'
Fox News Flash top headlines are here. Check out what's clicking on Foxnews.com. With NASA getting ready to land a spacecraft on the asteroid Bennu in just a few short days, the mysterious space rock is already revealing some of its secrets, including the presence of carbon-bearing materials. Several studies were published on the matter in the journals Science and Science Advances, noting that carbon-bearing, organic material is "widespread" on the surface of the asteroid. This includes the area where NASA's OSIRIS-REx spacecraft will take its first sample from, known as Nightingale, on Oct. 20.
Fox News Flash top headlines are here. Check out what's clicking on Foxnews.com. NASA's OSIRIS-REx spacecraft made its historic touchdown on asteroid Bennu Tuesday, retrieving a sample from the space rock that will be returned to Earth. OSIRIS-REx reached the surface of Bennu at 6:11 p.m. EDT in a mission that NASA says will help unlock the secrets of the solar system. The "tag" or sample collection, was complete at 6:11 p.m. EDT and the spacecraft left the asteroid's surface.
Fox News Flash top headlines are here. Check out what's clicking on Foxnews.com. Following Tuesday's historic touchdown on the asteroid Bennu, NASA has released never-before-seen images of the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft kicking up rocks and debris on the space rock's surface. The images are from the point in time when OSIRIS-REx approached and touched down on the surface of Bennu, which is more than 200 million miles from Earth. "The spacecraft's sampling arm – called the Touch-And-Go Sample Acquisition Mechanism (TAGSAM) – is visible in the lower part of the frame," NASA wrote on its website.
Asteroid Bennu may contain the building blocks of life within its'rubble-pile' surface, and the body was once part of a much larger, water covered world, scientists claim. NASA's OSIRIS-Rex mission will land on Bennu on October 20 to collect samples of the space rock and bring them back to Earth for scientists to study in the lab. As part of the preparations for this mission, six research papers have been published looking at the history and make-up of the near Earth asteroid using data gathered by OSIRIS-Rex that has been orbiting the space rock since 2018. One of those papers, by Amy Simon of NASA Goddard, found evidence of carbon-bearing and organic materials widespread across the surface of Bennu. These materials were found in veins running through rocks covering the surface of the asteroid, and had to be formed as a result of free flowing water that was on the larger, long destroyed celestial body that created Bennu. This is the first confirmed detection of these building blocks of life on a near-Earth asteroid, according to the team behind the study.