Bennu Thermal Map (Derived from Approach Data)

This global map demonstrates the distribution of temperatures across the surface of asteroid Bennu. It is a model created to fit the thermal emission data collected by the OTES and OVIRS spectrometers on NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft during the spacecraft’s November 2018 approach toward the asteroid. The wide range of temperatures on the surface — from 200 K to 350 K (-99.67 °F to 170.33 °F, or -73.15 °C to 76.85 °C) over a distance of 820 ft (250 m) — is explained by the lack of an atmosphere on Bennu. On Earth, the planet’s atmosphere works to distribute heat around the globe, but, for a planetary body without an atmosphere, the temperature of any given region is much more affected by the amount of direct sunlight it receives.

Date Taken: November 2018

Instrument Used: OTES; OVIRS

Credit: NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona/The Open University/University of Tennessee


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