OSIRIS-REx NavCam 1 image shows the Earth, moon, and asteroid Bennu

Shane McGlaun - Jan 9, 2019, 5:54 am CDT
OSIRIS-REx NavCam 1 image shows the Earth, moon, and asteroid Bennu

Back in September of 2016, NASA launched a spacecraft called OSIRIS-REx that went off without a hitch. The mission of the spacecraft was to make a flyby of an asteroid called Bennu, grab a sample of the Asteroid, and return it to Earth for study. In December of 2018, OSIRIS-REx discovered that Bennu had water on its surface after only days on station.

Earlier this month the spacecraft broke a record by orbiting Bennu, the smallest object to ever be orbited by a spacecraft. Only a few days later NASA has shared an image the spacecraft has snapped of some familiar sights in our solar system to share.

The image seen above was taken by OSIRIS-REx when it was about 71 million miles from Earth. The image is overexposed in some parts with the bright orb in the upper right being asteroid Bennu. OSIRIS-REx was about 27 miles from the Asteroid when the picture was taken.

The image was taken with a long exposure of five seconds according to NASA, which is what overexposed the asteroid. The distant bright splotches are the Earth and Moon. NASA also notes that the stars in the lower right section of the image comprise the head of the constellation Hydra.

NavCam 1 that snapped the image is a black-and-white camera and is one of the three cameras that comprise TAGCAMS or Touch-and-Go Camera System. The image was taken on December 19 but was only recently shared.

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