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Osiris Rex reveals the mystery of Bennu's absence

Osiris Rex reveals the mystery of Bennu’s absence

asteroid surface SpecifyNASA mission goal Osiris Rex, rugged, rock-rich and almost completely devoid of Al-Qaeda. Nobody studio made by Saverio Campione DelUniversity of Arizona Investigate the reasons for the lack of this article covering most of the known planets and celestial bodies. According to the study published on temper natureHowever, the highly porous Bennu rocks are responsible for the sudden lack of fine regolith at the surface.

“thanks for the Regolith Explorer – Comments by Dante Loretta, Head of Mission – We were able to analyze Marking the surface of the asteroid. Osiris Rex collected high-resolution data for the entire surface of Bennu, in some places even 3 millimeters per pixel. Beyond scientific interest, the lack of soft regolith has become a challenge to the mission itself since the probe was designed to collect this material.”

Scientists noticed when Osiris Rex sent the first pictures of Bennu to Earth In some areas where the accuracy was not high enough to be able to check rocks or regolith. At that point, the team of researchers decided to use a machine learning system to distinguish between soft regolith and rock, using thermal emission data.

As a first step, the researchers built a library of thermal emissions associated with fine regolith, mixed in different proportions with rocks of different porosity. They later used machine learning techniques to teach a computer how to “connect the dots”. In total it was analyzed 122 areas on the surface of Bennu, day and night. Once the analyzes were completed, the researchers found that the regolith was fine It is concentrated in very few areas Where the rocks are non-porous, while they are almost absent in areas with a high proportion of porous rocks, i.e. most of the surface. According to the study, the highly porous rocks produce little regolith because they are highly compressed and not fragmented by meteorite impacts.

“When Osiris King” The Bennu sample will be delivered to Earth in September 2023 Scientists will be able to study the samples in detail – Comments Jason Dworkin, of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center – This includes testing the physical properties of rocks to verify this study.”

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Her other missions FRich evidence to support the Arizona team’s findings. the mission Hayabusa 2 JAXA I found that the asteroid Ryugu It is devoid of fine regolith and has high porosity rocks. On the contrary, the The first Hayabusa mission in 2005 revealed an abundance of this material on the surface of Itokawa, A S-type asteroid. With rocks of different composition from Bino and Ryugu. Based on previous studies, the presence of large segments of soft regolith would not be common Carboniferous asteroids (Type C). Conversely, S-type asteroids would have a good amount of this substance.

“Our discovery, Campione concludes, is particularly important for the study of asteroids. The latter is believed to be a true relic of Solar System Now that we know the difference between the surface composition of C and S-type asteroids, we will be able to better prepare for future robotic exploration missions geared toward these objects.”

Image credits: Asteroid Bennu, NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona