Tour of Asteroid Bennu

  • Released Thursday, October 8th, 2020
  • Updated Wednesday, May 3rd, 2023 at 1:44PM
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When NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft arrived at asteroid Bennu in December 2018, its close-up images confirmed what mission planners had predicted nearly two decades before: Bennu is made of loose material weakly clumped together by gravity, and shaped like a spinning top. This major validation, however, was accompanied by a major surprise. Scientists had expected Bennu’s surface to consist of fine-grained material like a sandy beach, but were instead greeted by a rugged world littered with boulders – the size of cars, the size of houses, the size of football fields. Now, thanks to laser altimetry data and high-resolution imagery from OSIRIS-REx, we can take a tour of Bennu’s remarkable terrain. Unlock the secrets of asteroid Bennu.

Data provided by NASA/University of Arizona/CSA/York University/Open University/MDA.

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NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

Data provided by NASA/University of Arizona/CSA/York University/Open University/MDA.


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