MapCam View of Bennu’s North Pole from Orbit

This image shows a region near asteroid Bennu’s north pole on the terminator line between the asteroid’s day and night sides. The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft’s MapCam camera obtained the image on Feb. 20 while in orbit around the asteroid from a distance of 1.1 miles (1.8 km). At this distance, each pixel covers approximately 4.5 inches (12 cm) of Bennu’s surface. The largest boulder, located slightly left of the center, measures around 52 feet (16 meters) across, which, for scale, is the length of the trailer on a semi-truck.

During the mission’s orbital phase, OSIRIS-REx circles the asteroid near Bennu’s terminator line. While this positioning helps maintain the spacecraft in a stable orbit, the half-light/half-dark view of the asteroid creates challenging conditions for science imaging.

Date Taken: February 20, 2019

Instrument Used: OCAMS (MapCam)

Credit: NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona


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