The dynamic geophysical environment of (101955) Bennu based on OSIRIS-REx measurements

The OSIRIS-REx Team

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The top-shaped morphology characteristic of asteroid (101955) Bennu, often found among fast-spinning asteroids and binary asteroid primaries, may have contributed substantially to binary asteroid formation. Yet a detailed geophysical analysis of this morphology for a fast-spinning asteroid has not been possible prior to the Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, and Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) mission. Combining the measured Bennu mass and shape obtained during the Preliminary Survey phase of the OSIRIS-REx mission, we find a notable transition in Bennu’s surface slopes within its rotational Roche lobe, defined as the region where material is energetically trapped to the surface. As the intersection of the rotational Roche lobe with Bennu’s surface has been most recently migrating towards its equator (given Bennu’s increasing spin rate), we infer that Bennu’s surface slopes have been changing across its surface within the last million years. We also find evidence for substantial density heterogeneity within this body, suggesting that its interior is a mixture of voids and boulders. The presence of such heterogeneity and Bennu’s top shape are consistent with spin-induced failure at some point in its past, although the manner of its failure cannot yet be determined. Future measurements by the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft will provide insight into and may resolve questions regarding the formation and evolution of Bennu’s top-shape morphology and its link to the formation of binary asteroids.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)352-361
Number of pages10
JournalNature Astronomy
Volume3
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2019

Fingerprint

regolith
asteroids
resources
lobes
metal spinning
slopes
equators
intersections
voids
spacecraft

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics

Cite this

The dynamic geophysical environment of (101955) Bennu based on OSIRIS-REx measurements. / The OSIRIS-REx Team.

In: Nature Astronomy, Vol. 3, No. 4, 01.04.2019, p. 352-361.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{8527ed9f3c9249ab97a9f51987ab736f,
title = "The dynamic geophysical environment of (101955) Bennu based on OSIRIS-REx measurements",
abstract = "The top-shaped morphology characteristic of asteroid (101955) Bennu, often found among fast-spinning asteroids and binary asteroid primaries, may have contributed substantially to binary asteroid formation. Yet a detailed geophysical analysis of this morphology for a fast-spinning asteroid has not been possible prior to the Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, and Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) mission. Combining the measured Bennu mass and shape obtained during the Preliminary Survey phase of the OSIRIS-REx mission, we find a notable transition in Bennu’s surface slopes within its rotational Roche lobe, defined as the region where material is energetically trapped to the surface. As the intersection of the rotational Roche lobe with Bennu’s surface has been most recently migrating towards its equator (given Bennu’s increasing spin rate), we infer that Bennu’s surface slopes have been changing across its surface within the last million years. We also find evidence for substantial density heterogeneity within this body, suggesting that its interior is a mixture of voids and boulders. The presence of such heterogeneity and Bennu’s top shape are consistent with spin-induced failure at some point in its past, although the manner of its failure cannot yet be determined. Future measurements by the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft will provide insight into and may resolve questions regarding the formation and evolution of Bennu’s top-shape morphology and its link to the formation of binary asteroids.",
author = "{The OSIRIS-REx Team} and Scheeres, {D. J.} and McMahon, {J. W.} and French, {A. S.} and Brack, {D. N.} and Chesley, {S. R.} and D. Farnocchia and Y. Takahashi and Leonard, {J. M.} and J. Geeraert and B. Page and P. Antreasian and K. Getzandanner and D. Rowlands and Mazarico, {E. M.} and J. Small and Highsmith, {D. E.} and M. Moreau and Emery, {J. P.} and B. Rozitis and M. Hirabayashi and P. S{\'a}nchez and {Van wal}, S. and P. Tricarico and Ballouz, {R. L.} and Johnson, {C. L.} and {Al Asad}, {M. M.} and Susorney, {H. C.M.} and Barnouin, {O. S.} and Daly, {M. G.} and Seabrook, {J. A.} and Gaskell, {R. W.} and Palmer, {E. E.} and Weirich, {J. R.} and Walsh, {K. J.} and Jawin, {E. R.} and Bierhaus, {E. B.} and P. Michel and Bottke, {W. F.} and Nolan, {M. C.} and Connolly, {H. C.} and Lauretta, {D. S.} and Highsmith, {D. E.} and J. Small and D. Vokrouhlick{\'y} and Bowles, {N. E.} and E. Brown and {Donaldson Hanna}, {K. L.} and T. Warren and C. Brunet and {Richar Izawa}, Matthew",
year = "2019",
month = "4",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1038/s41550-019-0721-3",
language = "English",
volume = "3",
pages = "352--361",
journal = "Nature Astronomy",
issn = "2397-3366",
publisher = "Nature Publishing Group",
number = "4",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - The dynamic geophysical environment of (101955) Bennu based on OSIRIS-REx measurements

AU - The OSIRIS-REx Team

AU - Scheeres, D. J.

AU - McMahon, J. W.

AU - French, A. S.

AU - Brack, D. N.

AU - Chesley, S. R.

AU - Farnocchia, D.

AU - Takahashi, Y.

AU - Leonard, J. M.

AU - Geeraert, J.

AU - Page, B.

AU - Antreasian, P.

AU - Getzandanner, K.

AU - Rowlands, D.

AU - Mazarico, E. M.

AU - Small, J.

AU - Highsmith, D. E.

AU - Moreau, M.

AU - Emery, J. P.

AU - Rozitis, B.

AU - Hirabayashi, M.

AU - Sánchez, P.

AU - Van wal, S.

AU - Tricarico, P.

AU - Ballouz, R. L.

AU - Johnson, C. L.

AU - Al Asad, M. M.

AU - Susorney, H. C.M.

AU - Barnouin, O. S.

AU - Daly, M. G.

AU - Seabrook, J. A.

AU - Gaskell, R. W.

AU - Palmer, E. E.

AU - Weirich, J. R.

AU - Walsh, K. J.

AU - Jawin, E. R.

AU - Bierhaus, E. B.

AU - Michel, P.

AU - Bottke, W. F.

AU - Nolan, M. C.

AU - Connolly, H. C.

AU - Lauretta, D. S.

AU - Highsmith, D. E.

AU - Small, J.

AU - Vokrouhlický, D.

AU - Bowles, N. E.

AU - Brown, E.

AU - Donaldson Hanna, K. L.

AU - Warren, T.

AU - Brunet, C.

AU - Richar Izawa, Matthew

PY - 2019/4/1

Y1 - 2019/4/1

N2 - The top-shaped morphology characteristic of asteroid (101955) Bennu, often found among fast-spinning asteroids and binary asteroid primaries, may have contributed substantially to binary asteroid formation. Yet a detailed geophysical analysis of this morphology for a fast-spinning asteroid has not been possible prior to the Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, and Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) mission. Combining the measured Bennu mass and shape obtained during the Preliminary Survey phase of the OSIRIS-REx mission, we find a notable transition in Bennu’s surface slopes within its rotational Roche lobe, defined as the region where material is energetically trapped to the surface. As the intersection of the rotational Roche lobe with Bennu’s surface has been most recently migrating towards its equator (given Bennu’s increasing spin rate), we infer that Bennu’s surface slopes have been changing across its surface within the last million years. We also find evidence for substantial density heterogeneity within this body, suggesting that its interior is a mixture of voids and boulders. The presence of such heterogeneity and Bennu’s top shape are consistent with spin-induced failure at some point in its past, although the manner of its failure cannot yet be determined. Future measurements by the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft will provide insight into and may resolve questions regarding the formation and evolution of Bennu’s top-shape morphology and its link to the formation of binary asteroids.

AB - The top-shaped morphology characteristic of asteroid (101955) Bennu, often found among fast-spinning asteroids and binary asteroid primaries, may have contributed substantially to binary asteroid formation. Yet a detailed geophysical analysis of this morphology for a fast-spinning asteroid has not been possible prior to the Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, and Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) mission. Combining the measured Bennu mass and shape obtained during the Preliminary Survey phase of the OSIRIS-REx mission, we find a notable transition in Bennu’s surface slopes within its rotational Roche lobe, defined as the region where material is energetically trapped to the surface. As the intersection of the rotational Roche lobe with Bennu’s surface has been most recently migrating towards its equator (given Bennu’s increasing spin rate), we infer that Bennu’s surface slopes have been changing across its surface within the last million years. We also find evidence for substantial density heterogeneity within this body, suggesting that its interior is a mixture of voids and boulders. The presence of such heterogeneity and Bennu’s top shape are consistent with spin-induced failure at some point in its past, although the manner of its failure cannot yet be determined. Future measurements by the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft will provide insight into and may resolve questions regarding the formation and evolution of Bennu’s top-shape morphology and its link to the formation of binary asteroids.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85063205967&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85063205967&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1038/s41550-019-0721-3

DO - 10.1038/s41550-019-0721-3

M3 - Article

VL - 3

SP - 352

EP - 361

JO - Nature Astronomy

JF - Nature Astronomy

SN - 2397-3366

IS - 4

ER -