Incredible finds on the asteroid Bennu

NASA announced the incredible findings on the asteroid Bennu. Remains of this were collected by the OSIRIS-REx mission, which returned to Earth on September 24. It was the return after a trip of almost three years. What was so interesting that you discovered?

The most surprising thing is the high concentrations of carbon and water contained in the sample. The basic components of life can be found in rock.

«It is the largest asteroid sample ever sent to Earth. “It will help scientists investigate the origins of life on our own planet for generations to come.” This is what NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said from the Johnson Center in Houston. More research is needed to understand the nature of the carbon compounds found. But the first discoveries are a good start for future analyzes of the famous asteroid sample.

NASA revealed the incredible findings on the asteroid Bennu.
NASA revealed the incredible findings on the asteroid Bennu.

Extra material

There are still secrets hidden within the rocks and dust of the planetoid. They will be studied for decades to come to gain insights into how our solar system was created. Also, how the precursors of life arrived on Earth. And it will serve as evidence of how the collision of asteroids on our planet can be prevented.

The goal was to collect 60 grams of material from the celestial body. But when they opened the container for the first time, the scientists were pleasantly surprised. Extra asteroid material covered the outside of the collector head, the container lid, and the base. There was so much that the collection process had to be carried out with great care.

So far, NASA conservation experts have worked for 10 days. They are carefully disassembling the sample return hardware to observe the bulk sample. At first, NASA said, scientists carried out “quick look” analyzes of the material. They collected images from a scanning electron microscope, infrared measurements, X-ray diffraction and analysis of chemical elements. Additionally, they used X-ray computed tomography. It allowed them to produce a 3D computer model of one of the particles, highlighting its interior.

There was extra material from the asteroid in the container.
There was extra material from the asteroid in the container.

More tests

It was precisely the model that provided evidence of the abundant carbon and water in the sample. For now and for two years, the NASA team of experts will continue to characterize the samples. The agency will retain 70% of the sample for future research. These will be carried out by scientists from all over the world. And they will be able to confirm the incredible findings on the asteroid Bennu.

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