OSIRIS-REx

Heat stress is causing asteroid Bennu to lash out

NASA scientists were not expecting a dark, cold asteroid to be geologically active.

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Since the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft arrived at Bennu at the end of 2018, scientists have detected more than 300 events of particles shooting out of the asteroid and counted more than 600 individual particles.

These tiny rocks range in size from a quarter of an inch to two inches wide.

Now scientists have a couple of ideas about what’s causing these “particle ejection events.”

The stress on the rocks can cause them to break, releasing debris as small rock particles.

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