After years of orbiting and finally touching to collect samples from the asteroid Pennu, NASA’s Osiris-Rex spacecraft has made another amazing discovery.
The fast-rotating space rock near the Earth looks empty, According to A news release. Not only that, but scientists at the University of Colorado at Boulder, who analyzed new data from the lander, found that the pen was spinning so fast that it seemed to be slowly tearing itself apart, gradually sending rocks and dust into space.
When NASA touched down, scientists were amazed at how much Pennu crashed beneath OSIRIS-REx How rocky It was blown through a puff of nitrogen baked to release the samples. But after directing some data, it makes more sense: the gravitational force of the pen is surprisingly weak for an object of its size, leading researchers have concluded that it looks more like an egg with a shell than a solid rock.
“Like a vacuum in its center, you can fit two football fields in it,” said Daniel Shearez, a space engineer and leading researcher at the University of Colorado.
When the pen rotates, it sends occasionally The rocks fall outwards. While some of them retreat and others get lost in space, leading researchers say the rock will gradually rotate on its own. Death.
“In a million years or less you can imagine, the whole thing will fly away,” Sheres said in the release.
read more: Scientists peek inside an asteroid [University of Colorado Boulder]
More about Pennu: The NASA spacecraft has captured several asteroid fragments, which are now moving into space