Asteroid: Bennu

: NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona
October 26, 2023
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Black and white photo of asteroid
: NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona

This mosaic image of asteroid Bennu is composed of 12 PolyCam images collected Dec. 2, 2018, by the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft from a range of 15 miles (24 kilometers). The image was obtained at a 50- degree phase angle between the spacecraft, asteroid and the sun, and in it, Bennu spans approximately 1,500 pixels in the camera’s field of view. Date taken: Dec. 2, 2018. Instrument used: OCAMS (PolyCam).

Bennu is slightly wider than the Empire State Building is tall, shaped like a spinning top and it orbits the sun at distance between the orbits of Earth and Mars. The dark rocks and dust from Bennu were collected by NASA’s OSIRIS-Rex (Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification and Security-Regolith Explorer) spacecraft in 2020, following two years spent mapping the asteroid’s rocky exterior.

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