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Home / Science / Bennu asteroid keeps spinning faster and scientists aren’t sure why

Bennu asteroid keeps spinning faster and scientists aren’t sure why



Bennu's asteroid continues to rotate faster and scientists are not sure why: The days are shortening on the distant space rock being explored by a NASA probe

  • Rock space is spinning faster about a second every century, but scientists are still trying to figure out why
  • NASA is exploring the asteroid, which has a diameter of 1,614 feet (492 m), and runs once every 4.3 hours [19659004] The probe examines the data collected by two ground-based telescopes between 1999 and 2005 and by Hubble
4:59 EDT, 15 March 2019 |

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A distant space rock called Bennu is spinning faster, which means that its rotation period is shrinking by about a second every 100 years – but scientists are still trying to figure out why.

NASA is observing the asteroid to help them understand the evolution of other similar objects, their potential threat on Earth and whether they could be extracted for resources.

Scientists used the data collected during the OSIRIS-REx mission, before the arrival of the probe, to calculate that Bennu's rotation rate is accelerating over time.

Bennu is 70 million kilometers from Earth. As he moves through space at about 63,000 miles at the moment (101,000 km an hour), he also rotates, completing a full rotation every 4.3 hours.

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  A distant space rock called Bennu is spinning faster, which means that its rotation period is shortened by about 1 second every 100 years, but scientists are still trying to figure out why. NASA is exploring the type B asteroid (pictured), which has a diameter of 1,614 feet (492 m), and runs once every 4.3 hours

A distant space rock called Bennu is spinning faster, its rotation period is shrinking about 1 second every 100 years – but scientists are still trying to figure out why. NASA is exploring the type B asteroid (pictured), which has a diameter of 1,614 feet (492 m), and runs once every 4.3 hours

WHAT CAUSE THE ACCELERATION?

The OSIRIS-REx mission is scheduled to bring a Bennu sample to Earth in 2023.

Even in Bennu, the observations leave the mystery of what caused it.

A possible explanation is that the material moves around the surface of Bennu or completely leave the asteroid could allow the rate of rotation to accelerate.

The idea that asteroid rotation could accelerate over time was expected for the first time around 2000 and first detected in 2007.

To date, this acceleration has been detected only in a handful of asteroids.

that the change in Bennu's rotation could be due to a change in its form, "similar to how ice skaters accelerate as they take their arms", an asteroid could accelerate when it loses material.

The increase in rotation may not seem like much, but experts say that over a long period of time can result in dramatic changes in rock space.

The probe examines the data collected by two ground-based telescopes between 1999 and 2005 and by the Hubble Space Telescope in 2012.

It was when they looked at the Hubble data that they noticed that the rotation speed of the asteroid in 2012 did not match their forecasts based on previous data.

"It is not possible that all three fit perfectly," said Mike Nolan, lead author of the new research and geophysicist at the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory at the University of Arizona, which is also head of OSIRIS -REx team of scientific missions.

& # 39; It was then that we had the idea that it should speed up. & # 39;

According to the authors of the study, as the asteroid runs faster and faster for millions of years, it may lose pieces of itself or explode.

"As it accelerates, things should change, and so should we" If we look for these things and discover this speed, it will give us some clues as to the kind of things we should be looking for, "Dr Nolan added in a written statement. [19659010] "We should be looking for evidence that something was different in the past quite recently and it is conceivable that things are changing as we go along."

"It is not possible that all three fit together perfectly," he said Nolan. "It was then that we came to this idea that was to accelerate."

  The scientists used the data collected during the OSIRIS-REx mission, before the arrival of the probe, to calculate that the Bennu rotation rate is accelerating over time This image is a composite mosaic composed of 12 PolyCam images collected on December 2, 2018

The scientists used the data collected during the OSIRIS-REx mission, before the arrival of the probe, to calculate that the rotation rate of Bennu is accelerating over time. This image is a composite mosaic composed of 12 PolyCam images collected on December 2, 2018

The OSIRIS-REx mission is programmed to bring a Bennu sample to Earth in 2023.

Even in Bennu, the observations leave the mystery of what is causing it.

A possible explanation is that the material that moves on the surface of Bennu or that leaves entirely the asteroid could allow the rate of rotation to accelerate.

The idea that asteroid rotation could accelerate over time was expected for the first time around 2000 and first detected in 2007.

To date, this acceleration has been detected only in a handful of asteroids.

  Bennu is 70 million miles (110m km) away from Earth. As he moves through space at about 63,000 miles at the moment (101,000 km an hour), he also rotates, completing a full rotation every 4.3 hours. This image shows an artist's impression of the Osiris-Rex spacecraft on the asteroid

Bennu is located 70 million miles (110 m km) away from the Earth. As he moves through space at about 63,000 miles at the moment (101,000 km an hour), he also rotates, completing a full rotation every 4.3 hours. This image shows the impression of the artist on the space ship Osiris-Rex on the asteroid

The authors say that the change in Bennu's rotation could be due to a change in its shape, "similar to as ice skaters accelerate as they pull in their arms, "an asteroid could accelerate when it loses material.

The dott. Nolan also suggested that the reason for increasing Bennu's rotation is more likely due to a phenomenon known as the YORP effect.

This means that the sunlight that hits the asteroid is reflected in space. The change in the direction of the light entering and leaving pushes on the asteroid and can make it rotate faster or slower, depending on its shape and rotation.

"The reason for the increase in Bennu's rotation is more likely due to a phenomenon known as the Yarkovsky-O effect" Keefe-Radzievskii-Paddack, "said Dr. Nolan.

The OSIRIS-REx mission will independently determine Bennu's turnover rate this year, which will help scientists clarify the reason for the increase in rotation.

HOW WILL THE OSIRIS-REX MISSION, NASA, TAKE CHAMPIONS FROM AN ASTEROID WORK? [19659050] Osiris-Rex is the first US mission designed to return a piece of an asteroid to Earth.

Scientists say that the ancient asteroid could contain clues about the origin of life.

It is believed that 4.5 billion years ago a remnant of the bricks of the solar system was formed.

The spacecraft was launched on September 8th 2016 at 7:05 pm EST aboard an Atlas V rocket

After a careful investigation by Bennu to characterize the asteroid and identify the most promising sample sites, Osiris-Rex will collect between 2 and 70 ounces (about 60-2000 grams) of surface material with its robotic arm and return the sample to Earth via a capsule detachable in 2023.

To capture samples on the surface, the boat will fly over a specific area and be sent down very slowly and gently & # 39; 4 inches (10 cm) per second.

The spacecraft will also carry a laser altimeter, a suite of cameras provided by the Arizona University, spectrometers and lidar, which is similar to radar, using light instead of waves radio to measure distance.

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