Study spearheaded by the University of Colorado Boulder is disclosing the Alice in Wonderland-akin physics that rule gravity close to the asteroid Bennu’s surface. The new results are fraction of a bunch of documents posted by the team behind OSIRIS-Rex (Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer) mission by NASA. And they come only 3 Months following first encounter by OSIRIS-REx of Bennu in December, 2018.
Since then, the spacecraft has concluded a couple of laps surrounding the asteroid, which is about as high as the Empire State Building, remotely surrounding Bennu from a almost a mile. And those early orbits are offering researchers a complete new look at this unexplained rock, claimed Daniel Scheeres of CU Boulder who spearheads the radio science team of the mission. In study posted in Nature Astronomy, for instance, his team claims the mass of that asteroid to be a reputable 73 Billion Kilograms.
On a related note, a global team spearheaded by Teddy Kareta, a doctoral candidate at the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory of University of Arizona, investigated Phaethon. Now, Phaethon is a bizarre asteroid that occasionally acts as a comet. Kareta found the asteroid even more enigmatic than ever before.
Kareta showed the findings at the time of a press conference this week at the 50th yearly meeting. The meeting was conducted in Knoxville, Tennessee on behalf of the American Astronomical Society’s Division for Planetary Science.
With the help of telescopes in Arizona and Hawaii, the team examined sunlight reflected from Phaethon, which is recognized to have blue color. Blue asteroids that emit more light in the blue section of the spectrum add up only a small part of all recognized asteroids. A number of asteroids are red to dull grey in color, relying on the kind of substance on their surface.