This super resolution image of the Bennu asteroid was created using eight photographs taken by the NASIR OSIRIS-REx spacecraft on October 29, 2018, from a distance of about 205 miles (330 km).
The spacecraft moved when it was shooting images from a PolyCam camera, while Bennu rotated 1.2 degrees for almost one minute between the first and last images. The team used a super resolution algorithm to combine eight images and create a clearer asteroid view. The result was a video.
Bennu takes orientated by its north pole at the top of the image. OSIRIS-REx performs the third approach asteroid maneuver. The NASIR spacecraft OSIRIS-REx performed its third approach approach to the asteroid (AAM-3).
Trajectory maneuvering (TCM) engines performed two deceleration maneuvers designed to slow the speed of a spacecraft relative to Bennu from a speed of 11.7 mph (5.2 m / s) to 0.24 mph (0.11 m / s) ).
The mission will continue to study telemetry and tracking data next week, coming up for research on the new trajectory.
For photographing, the device used was a PolyCam spacecraft – one of the three on-board cameras of visible light.
The probe was launched two years ago from Cape Canaveral, Florida and is now entering the final stage of its mission. The Bennu-OSIRIS target is a 1600-foot-wide primitive asteroid that has not changed since it was formed nearly 4.5 billion years ago. According to NASA, understanding the composition of this rocky wreck is important.
Scala and dust on its surface can provide scientists with an understanding of the early evolution of the solar system and the origins of life on Earth.
“Bennu is an ancient part of the early solar system,” said Jason Dworkin, a scientist at the OSIRIS-REx project. “Studying it is the study of the origins of the solar system and, possibly, of life inside it.”
Researchers are also looking to find out if Bennu contains substances such as water, organic compounds and precious metals. It is hoped that asteroids such as it can be developed on a commercial basis, or their resources can be used to further explore the solar system by robotic and manned spacecraft.
In addition, Bennu is considered one of the most dangerous of the known near-Earth objects because of its relatively high (albeit tiny in absolute terms) probability of collision with the Earth at the end of the XXII century. OSIRIS will study the physical and chemical properties of the asteroid, which will be crucial if in the future a mission is required to reject or destroy it.