Scientists ‘surprised’ to find that Sun ages some asteroids much sooner than earlier thought

‘Surprised to learn that the aging and weathering process on asteroids happens so quickly’

Vishwam Sankaran
Monday 25 July 2022 16:30 BST
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“Surprised” scientists have discovered that the Sun’s heat likely fractures rocks on asteroid Bennu in only 10,000-100,000 years, an advance suggesting space rocks age more rapidly than earlier thought.

High-resolution images of rock fractures on asteroid Bennu taken by the Osiris-Rex spacecraft were analysed by researchers, said the study, published recently in the journal Nature Geoscience.

The Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security, Regolith Explorer (Osiris-Rex) spacecraft left Bennu’s orbit in May 2021 and is expected to reach Earth in the latter half of 2023.

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