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Mon Dec 10, 2018, 09:51 PM

NASA's Newly Arrived OSIRIS-REx Spacecraft Already Discovers Water on Asteroid

Source: nasa.gov

Recently analyzed data from NASA’s Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) mission has revealed water locked inside the clays that make up its scientific target, the asteroid Bennu.

During the mission’s approach phase, between mid-August and early December, the spacecraft traveled 1.4 million miles (2.2 million km) on its journey from Earth to arrive at a location 12 miles (19 km) from Bennu on Dec. 3. During this time, the science team on Earth aimed three of the spacecraft’s instruments towards Bennu and began making the mission’s first scientific observations of the asteroid. OSIRIS-REx is NASA’s first asteroid sample return mission.

Data obtained from the spacecraft’s two spectrometers, the OSIRIS-REx Visible and Infrared Spectrometer (OVIRS) and the OSIRIS-REx Thermal Emission Spectrometer (OTES), reveal the presence of molecules that contain oxygen and hydrogen atoms bonded together, known as “hydroxyls.” The team suspects that these hydroxyl groups exist globally across the asteroid in water-bearing clay minerals, meaning that at some point, Bennu’s rocky material interacted with water. While Bennu itself is too small to have ever hosted liquid water, the finding does indicate that liquid water was present at some time on Bennu’s parent body, a much larger asteroid.

“The presence of hydrated minerals across the asteroid confirms that Bennu, a remnant from early in the formation of the solar system, is an excellent specimen for the OSIRIS-REx mission to study the composition of primitive volatiles and organics,” said Amy Simon, OVIRS deputy instrument scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. “When samples of this material are returned by the mission to Earth in 2023, scientists will receive a treasure trove of new information about the history and evolution of our solar system.”

Read more: https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-s-newly-arrived-osiris-rex-spacecraft-already-discovers-water-on-asteroid

11 replies, 3143 views

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Arrow 11 replies Author Time Post
Reply NASA's Newly Arrived OSIRIS-REx Spacecraft Already Discovers Water on Asteroid (Original post)
RandiFan1290 Dec 2018 OP
dameatball Dec 2018 #1
Igel Dec 2018 #4
dameatball Dec 2018 #7
Ghost Dog Dec 2018 #11
AZ8theist Dec 2018 #2
Igel Dec 2018 #5
RandiFan1290 Dec 2018 #6
xor Dec 2018 #10
Late Knight Dec 2018 #3
iluvtennis Dec 2018 #8
RandiFan1290 Dec 2018 #9

Response to RandiFan1290 (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2018, 09:56 PM

1. Very interesting and perhaps not unexpected. Otherwise why test for it?

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Response to dameatball (Reply #1)

Mon Dec 10, 2018, 10:16 PM

4. It's more like "let's see what's absorbed and what's emitted",

then look at what the intensity is by wavelength.

I still look back at the spectroscopy portion of my organic chem lab work with a bit of unease, trying to match up peaks with radicals and bonds, looking at mass data, and trying to figure out just what the hell the TA had put in the vial.

I guess the point is you don't test for a specific thing, you look to see what bits there are in the signal and piece it all together.

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Response to Igel (Reply #4)

Mon Dec 10, 2018, 10:30 PM

7. Yes, that was what I was going to say....:)) Not. Good post.

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Response to Igel (Reply #4)

Tue Dec 11, 2018, 04:16 PM

11. Thanks for that.

What's the TA?

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Response to RandiFan1290 (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2018, 10:06 PM

2. hmmmm....

sorta shoots down the creatards argument that the only place where water exists is on Earth.

Wrong AGAIN, CREATARDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Response to AZ8theist (Reply #2)

Mon Dec 10, 2018, 10:18 PM

5. Somebody seriously made that claim? n/t

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Response to AZ8theist (Reply #2)

Mon Dec 10, 2018, 10:22 PM

6. Here is one they might like

https://earthsky.org/space/largest-oldest-mass-of-water-in-universe-discovered


The largest, oldest mass of water in universe

An international team of astronomers has discovered the largest, oldest mass of water ever detected in the universe. The newly discovered cloud of water vapor, equivalent to 140 trillion times the water in Earth’s oceans, is more than 12 billion light-years from Earth and surrounds the huge black hole of a quasar.

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Response to RandiFan1290 (Reply #6)

Tue Dec 11, 2018, 01:43 PM

10. Culligan is gonna need faster trucks to make that work.

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Response to RandiFan1290 (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2018, 10:13 PM

3. OSIRIS-REx?

 

King of the Underworld? I sure hope it doesn't have a Mother Ship! (Mass quantities of whiskey.)

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Response to RandiFan1290 (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2018, 12:55 AM

8. Very interesting. Thanks for the post.

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Response to iluvtennis (Reply #8)

Tue Dec 11, 2018, 08:37 AM

9. You are welcome

I love this stuff.

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