Site Kingfisher is located near Bennu’s equator in a small crater that has a radius of 13 ft (4 m). Kingfisher is surrounded by boulders, but the site itself, with a radius of 16 ft (5 m), is free of large rocks. Given Kingfisher’s geographical position on Bennu’s equatorial bulge, it is possible that the region contains material from both the northern and southern hemispheres. This site is particularly interesting because of its location in a small crater, which means it may be a relatively young feature compared to Bennu’s larger craters (such as the one in which Sandpiper is located). Younger craters generally hold fresher, minimally-altered material. Kingfisher has the strongest spectral signature for hydrated minerals among the four sites.
Reconnaissance A Imagery
This is the highest-resolution image captured of candidate sample site Kingfisher as of October 19. Site Kingfisher is located near asteroid Bennu’s equator in the northern hemisphere. The site itself is visible in the lower right of the image, located in the middle of the relatively clear space. The image was taken by the PolyCam camera on NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft on October 19, from a distance of 0.6 miles (1 km). The field of view is 47 ft (14.4 m). For reference, the small crater is 9 ft (2.7 m) across, which is about the length of a dolphin. The image was obtained during the mission’s Reconnaissance A phase. When the image was taken, the spacecraft was over the northern hemisphere, pointing PolyCam south and to the west.
Digital Terrain Model
This 3D printed model reveals the crater’s gradual slopes, along with the height of surrounding boulders.
Credit: NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona/CSA/York/MDA
This set of stereoscopic images provides a 3D view of site Kingfisher, located in Bennu’s northern hemisphere. The two images in this stereo pair were taken from slightly different viewpoints, with one of the images meant for the left eye and the other for the right. The two images are then combined by the brain to give the perception of depth. To see the pair in 3D, download the image and view it through a stereoscope. The cropped and processed images were obtained on March 21, 2019, by the PolyCam camera during Flyby 3 of the mission’s Detailed Survey: Baseball Diamond phase.
This anaglyph of site Kingfisher was made from the above stereo pair. Each stereoscopic image was encoded using filters of chromatically opposite colors—one made with red and the other with cyan. When viewed through color-coded anaglyph glasses, each of the two images reaches the eye it’s intended for, and a 3D image is produced. Anaglyphs are helpful for selecting a sample collection site because they allow the team to intuitively understand the three-dimensional structure of objects like boulders and craters.
Boulder Count Map
This Boulder Map for site Kingfisher details the number and location of boulders present within the region. The boulders are counted by the human eye, using a single image at a time. Many of these boulder counts were made by members of the public who participated in the CosmoQuest Bennu Mappers citizen science campaign. The boulder counter marks each boulder by the longest axis (point to point) in order to calculate maximum boulder size. Rocks that are 10-21 cm are marked in yellow. Anything larger than 21 cm is marked in red. Rocks and debris that are ingested by the spacecraft’s Touch-and-Go Sample Mechanism (TAGSAM) head must be no more than 2.5 cm wide.
The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft is about the size of a 15-passenger van, so for a familiar perspective, this is site Kingfisher superimposed over a standard parking lot. Kingfisher, which lies within the white circle, covers roughly 6 parking spaces. The width of each parking space is 9 ft (2.7 m).
Sample Site Location