NASA spacecraft discovers chunks of asteroid Vesta on asteroid Bennu

Osiris-Rex snapped these views of bright boulders on asteroid Bennu in 2019. They appear to have come from asteroid Vesta.


NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona

Asteroid Bennu, the subject of NASA’s Osiris-Rex mission, appears to be hosting some unusual souvenirs. In a case of cosmic CSI, researchers have traced the origin of some bright boulders on Bennu’s surface to a different asteroid named Vesta.

Osiris-Rex is currently in residence at Bennu, preparing for a daring sample collection operation in October. The spacecraft has already sent back a wealth of images and data from the “rubble pile” asteroid that was formed from fragments of a brutal collision.

The boulders in question range in size from 5 to 14 feet (about 1.5 to 4.3 meters) and look noticeably different than the darker surrounding material. 

A closer investigation of

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