Don't miss the latest stories
Watch: NASA Gets Up Close To Asteroid That Just Passed Earth For The First Time
By Thanussha Priyah, 10 Sep 2020
Video screenshot via M. Brozovic/JPL-Caltech/NASA/University of Arizona
For the first time, NASA managed to observe an asteroid that had just passed by Earth in close proximity and found remnants left by the rocky object in the skies.
NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft studied the asteroid Bennu, and discovered particles, rocks and other fragments after the phenomenon. The observations were published in a series of papers in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets.
Lead author and University of Arizona planetary scientist Carl Hergenrother said the team noticed 200 pieces from the asteroid scattered in space. “To give you an idea, all of those 200 particles we observed during the first event after arrival would fit on a 4-inch x 4-inch tile,” Hergenrother stated in the paper. “The fact that we can even see them is a testament to the capabilities of our cameras.”
Scientists had never noticed the capacity of an asteroid before as its remnants are often too small to see from Earth. This event marked the first time that the space agency has managed to get a close-up look into the rocky object.
NASA reassured that the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft is secure in space, even though it was located in close range to the collapsing asteroid.
[via Futurism, cover image via M. Brozovic/JPL-Caltech/NASA/University of Arizona]
More related news
Also check out these recent news