Just the other day, we were reporting that there’s another asteroid that seems to be racing towards our planet this Christmas. Now, new asteroid-related news is out.
Bennu asteroid is acting strange
NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft has been orbiting asteroid Bennu for quite a while now. More precisely, the spaceship is orbiting the space rock since back in 2018, and it’s about 100 million miles from the sun.
A recent discovery about the massive asteroid has scientists shocked according to the latest reports coming from Wired.
The notes reveal that the space rock keeps spitting out rocks into space. Sometimes these can reach a few feet across.
Experts’ observations are detailed in a paper published in the journal Science last week. It’s been revealed that NASA notes the fact that the asteroid is ejecting matter “from otherwise unremarkable locations on Bennu.”
Experts analyze Bennu’s strange behavior
More than that, it seems that experts have also noticed that Bennu is spewing out small rocks at least three times now, and this has been reportedly happening since back in January 2019.
“Among Bennu’s many surprises, the particle ejections sparked our curiosity, and we’ve spent the last several months investigating this mystery,” Dante Lauretta, OSIRIS-REx principal investigator at the University of Arizona stated.
“This is a great opportunity to expand our knowledge of how asteroids behave,” Lauretta continued and explained.
Now, according to the online publication Futurism, researchers are trying to figure out what is causing such events of ejecting rocks into space.
“No one has ever seen an active asteroid up close like this,” astronomer Carl Hergenrother stated for Wired.
He continued and said: “It wasn’t that long ago that the conventional wisdom was that asteroids are these dead bodies that didn’t change very much.”
Among the theories that experts have, there’s also the fact that there are some pretty swinging surface temperatures on the asteroid, and this could cause such behavior.
Head over to the original article by Futurism and the study mentioned above in order to learn more details on this interesting issue.