Bits of ancient space rock may hold clues about Earth’s formation | Trending


NASA’s posts on social media not only reveal exciting information about the Earth but also acquaint people with the world that lies beyond our Blue planet. In their recent post, the space agency shared about one such rocky remnant from outer space, asteroid Bennu. Taking to Instagram, they wrote how the “bits of ancient space rock may hold clues to how the rocky planets formed, including Earth.⁣”

The image shows bits collected from asteroid Bennu by OSIRIS-REx spacecraft. (Instagram/@nasa)
The image shows bits collected from asteroid Bennu by OSIRIS-REx spacecraft. (Instagram/@nasa)

“For the next two years, the #OSIRISREx science team will continue studying the samples. NASA will preserve at least 70% of the sample at @NASAJohnson for further research by scientists worldwide, including future generations of scientists,” they wrote. OSIRIS-REx is NASA’s first mission to collect samples from an asteroid. It returned to Earth to drop off the sample from asteroid Bennu.

Why is it important to study asteroids?

“Asteroids are leftovers from the period of planet formation, so by studying asteroids, we can learn what existed in our solar system before Earth fully formed. Was there already water? Organic molecules? DNA? RNA?” NASA shared.

“Initial studies of this asteroid sample show evidence of high concentrations of carbon and water, which, when found together, are among the building blocks of life as we know it on Earth,” they added.

Besides the detailed caption, they also shared three images and a video. They capture varied scenes, from piles of asteroid material resting on a device to small particles from an asteroid covering the base of the ‘science canister’, to scientists studying the ancient bits.

Take a look at NASA’s post on asteroids:

The post was shared just a day ago. Since then, it has collected more than 3.2 lakh likes, and the numbers are increasing. The share has also accumulated tons of comments.

Here’s how Instagram users react to NASA’s post:

“Fascinating! How long will it take for NASA to understand these asteroid bits?” asked an Instagram user. To which, NASA replied, “It will take approximately two years for science teams to answer our hypotheses, but more science will happen for decades, just like with Apollo.”

Another person commented, “Can I get an explanation of how they collected a sample of an asteroid? Aren’t they floating around in space?” The space agency was quick to reply and shared, “Our OSIRIS-REx spacecraft launched in 2016, travelled for about two years, and landed on asteroid Bennu in Dec. 2018. It collected a sample and made its journey back towards Earth in May 2021. The sample just landed on Earth this September!”

“No words, humbly enjoying this freaking treasure,” added a third. “Just incredible,” wrote a fourth. What are your thoughts on this incredible share about asteroids by NASA?

“Exciting news! Hindustan Times is now on WhatsApp Channels Subscribe today by clicking the link and stay updated with the latest news!” Click here!


Source link

Leave a Comment