Bennu, the nearby asteroid is getting probed by NASA since last year under the mission, OSIRIS-REx. The asteroid, firstly was considered as a rubble pile but considering the recent discoveries, it is now classified as an active asteroid. OSIRIS-Rex reached Bennu on Dec. 3, 2018, and started orbiting it since Dec. 31, 2018. This is NASA’s first mission that aims to send samples of Bennu’s surface to the Earth in 2023 after detecting the suitable spot by 2020. Earlier this year, the asteroid was found ejecting small particles into space. The scientists claimed that it was first detected exploding small particles on January 6. It was again discovered on Jan. 19 and Feb. 19, ejecting smaller plunges.
NASA scientists said that this event proved that the asteroid is active. Scientists have never watched such activeness in asteroids, but with the closer approach provided by OSIRIS-Rex, they look forward to revealing more about the asteroid for further research about asteroid’s revolution.
As per the observations based on these three particle-ejecting events—captured by OSIRIS-Rex’s navigation cameras—the particles were nearly of size 100 Centimeters. The researchers said that the events were spotted at specific locations on Bennu. The asteroid was releasing nearly a hundred particles during each of these events. Though the spacecraft observed the events closely, none of these particles made any harm to it. The researchers were unable to detect anything about the ejection events possible before December 2018—spacecraft’s arrival. The particles that were observed orbiting the asteroid after the ejection event will be further studied with the help of OSIRIS -REx.
Recently, NASA has detected one more asteroid nearby that can be a threat to our Earth. This giant asteroid, as wide as 600 M, can destroy a city. NASA stated that the asteroid will pass by the Earth on December 26 making a closer approach of 3.7 million miles on December 20.
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