NASA snaps stunning picture of asteroid Bennu from only 0.4 miles away

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NASA launched the closest shot of the near-Earth asteroid 101955, Bennu, earlier this week.

The image, taken by the house company’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft, was shot from a distance of zero.four miles, or 690 meters, above Bennu on Jan. 17, 2019.

Within the picture, half of Bennu is sunlit and half is in shadow.

“Bennu’s largest boulder may also be seen protruding from the southern hemisphere,” NASA mentioned in a press launch.

NASA has beforehand launched photos of Bennu, lots of which could be seen right here, however the newest image is the closest shot of the house rock’s floor. The asteroid has a diameter of about 1,700 ft.

This picture of asteroid Bennu was launched on June 13, 2019, shortly after NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft executed its second orbital insertion maneuver.
(Credit score: NASA/Goddard/College of Arizona/Lockheed Martin)

The house company describes the method of taking the image:

“The picture was taken from a distance of zero.four miles (690 m) above the asteroid’s floor by NavCam 1, certainly one of three navigation cameras that comprise the spacecraft’s TAGCAMS (the Contact-and-Go Digital camera System) suite. At this distance, particulars as small as 1.6 ft (zero.5 m) throughout could be resolved within the heart of the picture.”

NASA’s spacecraft reached Bennu in December after a really lengthy journey by means of house.

Researchers consider the asteroid will present solutions to questions concerning the origins of our photo voltaic system.

OSIRIS-REx, which stands for Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Useful resource Identification, Safety-Regolith Explorer, launched in September 2016 from Cape Canaveral Air Pressure Station. It carries 5 data-taking devices and is meant to return with samples from the asteroid.

Fox Information’ James Rogers contributed to this report. 

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