Planets and Moons  ID: 4863

Tour of Asteroid Bennu – Visualizations

When NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft arrived at asteroid Bennu in December 2018, its close-up images confirmed what mission planners had predicted nearly two decades before: Bennu is made of loose material weakly clumped together by gravity, and shaped like a spinning top. This major validation, however, was accompanied by a major surprise. Scientists had expected Bennu’s surface to consist of fine-grained material like a sandy beach, but instead OSIRIS-REx was greeted by a rugged world littered with boulders – the size of cars, the size of houses, the size of football fields.

This video explores several interesting features of Bennu. The surface features are presented in vivid detail thanks to detailed terrain data from the OLA instrument and high resolution imagery from the PolyCam instrument.

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Visualization Credits

Kel Elkins (USRA): Lead Visualizer
Dan Gallagher (USRA): Lead Producer
Erin Morton (The University of Arizona): Communications Lead
Nancy Neal-Jones (NASA/GSFC): Communications Lead
Dathon Golish (The University of Arizona/LPL): Scientist
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio

Data provided by NASA/University of Arizona/CSA/York University/Open University/MDA.

NASA/University of Arizona/CSA/York University/MDA

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Data Used:
Note: While we identify the data sets used in these visualizations, we do not store any further details nor the data sets themselves on our site.

SVS >> Asteroid
SVS >> Elevation data
SVS >> Imaging
SVS >> Orbit
SVS >> Hyperwall
NASA Science >> Planets and Moons
SVS >> Bennu
SVS >> Sample Return