To reach their conclusions, scientists analyzed rock fractures visible on the asteroid from multiple high-resolution images taken by the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft. This analysis will help scientists to know how long it takes for smaller particles to break down on asteroids like Bennu. They can either go into space or remain on the surface of the asteroid.
Report According to Marco Delbo, senior scientist at France’s Université Cote d’Azur, said that thousands of years may seem too slow, but we thought that the regeneration of the asteroid’s surface would take millions of years. We were surprised to learn that the process of geological aging and weathering occurs so quickly on asteroids.
Due to the rapid temperature change, an internal stress has arisen in Bennu, which breaks the rocks. According to information, the sun rises on Bennu every 4.3 hours. Here the maximum temperature of the day can reach around 127 degree Celsius and the minimum temperature of the night can go down to minus 23 degree Celsius. This has created stress on Bennu.
While surveying the images taken by the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft, scientists observed fractures in the asteroid. Scientists said the pictures indicate that these fractures have occurred due to the large difference in temperature between day and night. Delbo and his colleagues measured more than 1,500 fractures. Some of these appeared to be smaller than a tennis racket while others were longer than a tennis court. They found that the fractures are mainly in the northwest-southeast direction, indicating that they are caused by the Sun. Scientists used computer models to assign the time limit of these fractures to 10,000 to 100,000 years. As part of its mission, the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft will return to Earth on 24 September 2023 with a sample from Bennu.
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