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Emily Lakdawalla @elakdawalla
, 16 tweets, 5 min read Read on Twitter
Okay so I tuned in briefly to the MU69 webcast and OMG Olivier Barnouin-Jha just spewed more OSIRIS-REx science than I've heard since they arrived at Bennu. I took a lot of screen caps but may not be able to do much with them until tomorrow
I do have some time, so here we go with OSIRIS-REx science screen caps. First up, some stuff on Bennu's phase curve. It shows "bluing" at lower phase angles. This is information only spectroscopists could love, but I know some spectroscopists, so here you go. 1/n
Olivier Barnouin-Jha: Ryugu is much more uniform in color than Bennu is. Look at all the spectral variation! 2/n
Bennu has a center-of-mass, center-of-figure offset. That means it's not homogeneous inside -- its mass is distributed unevenly. Other good stuff in this slide -- we'll get to the ridges and the thrust fault in a second. 3/n
The geologists see linear features on Bennu -- some ridges that appear to be controlling the positions of boulders (blue lines on the left figure). 4/n
On the right side of the diagram is a white line where Olivier sees a landslide that has started to cover and fill a crater centered on the equator at roughly 270W. 5/n
This slide contains Physics! gravity, roche limit, other cool stuff. Olivier: "This figure is very confusing and not that useful for the general public." That's okay, it's ALL MINE. 6/n
(Olivier noted that in the third figure, there are light gray regions intersecting the yellow surface; that's where the roche lobe actually intersects the surface, which is HELLA WEIRD. 6.5/n)
This is the one science result that the OSIRIS-REx team has shared previously -- they see spectral features of water -- but I include it for completeness. 7/n
Okay: OTES! A thermal emission spectrometer. It sees minerals. They look like the meteorite Orgueil. At least if you can read spectra like Olivier can. To us structural geologists, these are "squiggly lines." But we love spectroscopists anyway. 8/n
Here, Olivier drew some black lines on the spectra that makes them MUCH easier to understand. (I'm half joking. He's pointing out that Bennu and Orgueil share a dip in their spectra that suggest the presence of water.) 9/n
Thermal emission from Bennu! Thermal inertia tells scientists what the surface is made of at a scale even smaller than the cameras can see. 10/n
I'm just sharing this slide to point out that the OSIRIS-REx team seems to have named this rock on the lower right "Ben Ben" which sounds like the name of a panda. 11/n
Bennu has some pretty tiny craters, one of which may be the place where OREx samples the asteroid. 12/n
That's it for my screen caps. I was totally not expecting early science results from OSIRIS-REx on this New Years Eve New Horizons podcast! So glad they could share! 13/13
Here is a bonus screen cap for people who know and love Olivier. (It's "breccia," he's talking about breccia.)
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