Asteroid Bennu’s Surprising Surface Revealed by NASA Spacecraft
Near-Earth asteroid Bennu is a rubble pile of rocks and boulders left over from the formation of the solar system. On October 20, 2020, NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft briefly touched down on Bennu and collected a sample for return to Earth. During this “TAG event,” the spacecraft’s arm sank far deeper into the asteroid than expected, confirming that Bennu’s surface is incredibly weak. Now, scientists have used data from OSIRIS-REx to revisit the TAG event and better understand how Bennu’s loose upper layers are held together.