Dark Boulder near Asteroid Bennu’s Equator

In the lower left of this image is one of the darkest boulders on asteroid Bennu. The boulder, located near the asteroid’s equator, has an albedo of about 3.3%. Bennu’s global average albedo is 4.4%, which is still about as dark as charcoal. This image was taken by the PolyCam camera on NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft on March 29 from a distance of 2.2 miles (3.6 km). The field of view is 165 ft (50.4m) wide. For scale, the light-colored rock sitting on the dark boulder is 6.2 ft (1.9 m) wide, which is about the same height as a person. The image was obtained during Flyby 4B of the mission’s Detailed Survey: Baseball Diamond phase. When the image was taken, the spacecraft was over the northern hemisphere, pointing PolyCam down toward the south.

Date Taken: March 29, 2019

Instrument Used: OCAMS (PolyCam)

Credit: NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona


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