Bennu’s Striking Craters

This image highlights asteroid Bennu’s equatorial craters and its boulder-filled surface. It was taken by the MapCam camera on NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft on April 28, from a distance of 6 miles (10 km). From the spacecraft’s vantage point, half of Bennu is sunlit and half is in shadow. Bennu’s darkest boulder, Gargoyle Saxum , is visible on the equator, near the left limb. On the asteroid’s southern hemisphere, Bennu’s largest boulder, Benben Saxum , casts a long shadow over the surface. The field of view is 0.4 miles (0.7 km). For reference, the largest crater in the center of the image is 257 ft (78 m) wide, which is almost the size of a football field. The image was obtained two weeks after the mission’s Checkpoint rehearsal, and two days before the spacecraft re-entered orbit around Bennu.

Date Taken: April 28, 2020

Instrument Used: OCAMS (MapCam)

Credit: NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona


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