Various Surface Textures of Bennu’s Boulders

The boulders on Bennu’s surface sport a variety of surface textures, from smooth, to hummocky, striated, and crumbly “cauliflower” in nature. The large boulder in the image center is ~92 ft (~28 m) across and has a somewhat round shape, though many smaller boulders surrounding it are very angular. Some of these appear to be fragments that may have disaggregated from the central boulder and display layering effects that may reflect some of the properties of their mineral composition. Other boulders show signs of surface exfoliation and fractures that may have been caused by impacts, mechanical weathering, and other forms of rock breakdown active on Bennu’s surface.

This image was obtained by the MapCam camera on NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft on February 27 from a distance of 0.8 miles (1.3 km) and shows a region of the asteroid’s southern hemisphere near its south pole.

Date Taken: Feb. 27, 2019

Instrument Used: OCAMS (MapCam)

Credit: NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona


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