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101955 bennu

The meaning of «101955 bennu»

101955 Bennu (provisional designation 1999 RQ36)[9] is a carbonaceous asteroid in the Apollo group discovered by the LINEAR Project on 11 September 1999. It is a potentially hazardous object that is listed on the Sentry Risk Table with the second-highest cumulative rating on the Palermo Technical Impact Hazard Scale.[10] It has a cumulative 1-in-2,700 chance of impacting Earth between 2175 and 2199.[11][12] It is named after the Bennu, the ancient Egyptian mythological bird associated with the Sun, creation, and rebirth.

101955 Bennu has a mean diameter of 490 m (1,610 ft; 0.30 mi) and has been observed extensively with the Arecibo Observatory planetary radar and the Goldstone Deep Space Network.[7][13][14]

Bennu was the target of the OSIRIS-REx mission which is intended to return its samples to Earth in 2023 for further study.[15][16][17] On 3 December 2018, the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft arrived at Bennu after a two-year journey.[18] It orbited the asteroid and mapped out Bennu's surface in detail, seeking potential sample collection sites. Analysis of the orbits allowed calculation of Bennu's mass and its distribution.[19]

On 18 June 2019, NASA announced that the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft had closed in and captured an image from a distance of 600 metres (2,000 ft) from Bennu's surface.[20]

In October 2020, OSIRIS-REx successfully touched down on the surface of Bennu, collected a sample using an extendable arm,[21] secured the sample and prepared for a return trip to Earth.[22][23] On 10 May 2021, OSIRIS-REx successfully completed its departure from the Bennu asteroid while still carrying the sample of the asteroid rubble.[24][25]

Bennu was discovered on 11 September 1999 during a Near-Earth asteroid survey by the Lincoln Near-Earth Asteroid Research (LINEAR).[3] The asteroid was given the provisional designation 1999 RQ36 and classified as a near-Earth asteroid. Bennu was observed extensively by the Arecibo Observatory and the Goldstone Deep Space Network using radar imaging as Bennu closely approached Earth on 23 September 1999.[26][13]

The name Bennu was selected from more than eight thousand student entries from dozens of countries around the world who entered a "Name That Asteroid!" contest run by the University of Arizona, The Planetary Society, and the LINEAR Project in 2012.[1][9] Third-grade student Michael Puzio from North Carolina proposed the name in reference to the Egyptian mythological bird Bennu. To Puzio, the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft with its extended TAGSAM arm resembled the Egyptian deity, which is typically depicted as a heron.[1]

Its features will be named after birds and bird-like creatures in mythology.[27]

Bennu has a roughly spheroidal shape, resembling a spinning top. Bennu's axis of rotation is tilted 178 degrees to its orbit; the direction of rotation about its axis is retrograde with respect to its orbit.[7] While the initial ground based radar observations indicated that Bennu had a fairly smooth shape with one prominent 10–20 m boulder on its surface,[12] high resolution data obtained by OSIRIS-REx revealed that the surface is much rougher with more than 200 boulders larger than 10 m on the surface, the largest of which is 58 m across.[7] The boulders contain veins of high albedo carbonate minerals believed to have formed prior to the formation of the asteroid due to hot water channels on the much larger parent body.[28][29] The veins range from 3 to 15 centimeters wide, and can be over one meter in length, much bigger than carbonate veins seen in meteorites.[29]

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