Bad Astronomy | Unusual footage of OSIRIS-RX, tagging the planet Benu

Bad Astronomy | Unusual footage of OSIRIS-RX, tagging the planet Benu

Well, Osiris-Rex has had a busy week.

On October 20, The spacecraft landed on the surface of Benu, Near-Earth planet It has been researching for two years. A collector’s head about the size of a car’s air filter sat at the end of a long arm, and when this surface attached to the nitrogen tanks, there was dust and blankets and grain scattering, blowing them away from the straw. As the head is made, the gas sent the wreckage to the collector, where it could be safely stored.

The spacecraft’s team released a video from images taken by an OSIRIS-RX navigation camera, showing the process, saying the spacecraft fell down towards Benu, exploded, and flew away.

And that’s something. See This:

The video covers about three hours, starting about an hour after the spacecraft came out of orbit and approached the surface. You see Benu rolling down, the big rocks clinging to the idiot. It looks like it’s spinning around the planet, but it’s actually coming in the right attitude (astronaut position) for the OSIRIS-REx sample exercise, and in about 21 seconds in the video. Nightingale landing site Views and objects are static.

The spacecraft falls down and you can see the soft outline of the ancient Khurd that surrounds the Nightingale site, the rocks around it. At 30 seconds, the images appear faster, and the details appear just over a centimeter. At 00:33, the shadow of TAGSAM (Touch-and-Go Sample Acquisition Mechanism) slips into the frame, and the collector head touches just below the outer right of the frame. Gas jets are flying … and then Choice.

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The speed of the spacecraft pushes TAGSAM In Surface, material about 48 cm. Then the reverse thrusters catch fire, and the spacecraft retreats, the debris flying everywhere. There appears to be a small plume of debris on the upper right (but covering most of the frame), rocks in almost innumerable asteroid gravity, and shadows on the lower left towards the center of the frame. At the end of the video, on the left, some dark lips are visible, probably large rocks shaded by the spacecraft; Engineers are still investigating what they were.

That video is Sleep Call. At a distance of 330 million kilometers, completely autonomously, OSISIS-REX sank and caught a double-handed rock from an attic that has been orbiting the sun for a hundred million years. In fact, I’ll be back in it. hang on…

Next we found out how the war tactics worked Also Well, And collectors were full of rocks! He hoped to collect about 60 grams of material, but he could easily gain more than a kilogram. Wow

The flap was opened by a small rock to close the container, and some material was seen coming out. Because of this, the engineers decided to abandon the process of measuring the amount of material, fearing that they would lose something if they did. Instead, they decided to go straight to the container for owing Sample return capsules He will eventually send them to earth.

As it happened, a camera aboard the spacecraft took several pictures as the container was housed in a capsule. I can’t embed it, though If you click this tweet via OSIRIS-REx You can see.

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Wow. Stored safely after detection, The id of the capsule closed:

Closing that id was a big deal; Coming out of the sample collector’s content did not guarantee being able to store everything safely. It’s nice to see that it’s nice and tight.

The spacecraft will overtake Benu in March 2021 and begin a 30-month journey back from Earth. The capsule will be released in September 2023, with a fuzzy cone shape that will slow it down as it passes through our air, then parachutes into the Utah Desert and into the hands of many curious scientists.

But wait! There is more.

Around the same time OCRS-Rex was doing it all, Scientists have published some interesting findings about Benu. Using OSIRIS-Rex data, they observed small pits on large boulders on the surface of Bannu, while small interplanetary rocks hit the rocks as fast as Benu traveled to the sun. The maximum size of the craters seen is probably the smallest that is actually necessary to break the rocks; The logic is that anything big will split the boulder and so it will still not be intact. Lab experiments retain this idea.

Therefore, By looking at those biggest cutters they could understand how strong the stones are, And they looked very soft, which is not surprising given that TAGSAM easily crushed material on the surface.

With that information in hand, they could then look at the distribution of the size of the pits on the rocks to get an idea of ​​the rock population. What they found is that it corresponds to the distribution of the size of the rocks in the belt of the main planet.

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In addition, they can use frequency to see the effect Age Boulders, or at least how long they have been in contact with space. What they found is amazing. It is known that Benu was formed about 100 million years ago, probably from a large storm that erupted with a small storm that blew away the slippery glass in Benu. But they found that the crater was only a large mass near Earth for about 1.75 million years.

So it was established a long time ago, but then in the present day (beautifully recently) something – possibly the Guru’s seriousness – has pushed it into its current bit of rabbit which brings it closer to the earth. So close, in fact it is possible that (But most likely) It could affect Earth in the next century or two, making it a potentially dangerous planet.

This is it Literally Important information! If we want to protect the Earth from large-scale effects in the long run, we need to understand how the ecliptic paths between Mars and Jupiter from the main belt follow the paths that bring them closer to Earth. Getting Benu’s age this way is a big step in understanding how it all works.

Overall, a great week for planetary science. It was great to hear some good news for change, even though it came from a billion kilometers away.

Raven Weber

About the author: Raven Weber

Musicaholic. Unapologetic alcohol maven. Social media expert. Award-winning coffee evangelist. Typical thinker.

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