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NASA asks the Vatican to help investigate asteroid Bennu • DOL

NASA asks the Vatican to help investigate asteroid Bennu • DOL

Recently, samples were collected from the asteroid Bennu OSIRIS-REx mission, from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). According to scientists, extraterrestrial materials will help better understand the formation of planets and the origin of terrestrial life. To analyze samples collected from Bennu, the space agency sought help from an unusual source: the Vatican.

About three years ago, when NASA researchers saw images taken by OSIRIS-REx after the mission touched down on Bennu’s surface, they were impressed. The asteroid didn’t look or behave as they imagined. Initially, researchers thought the asteroid would be covered in rocks. Instead, the images showed rocks and a surface similar to a plastic ball pit.

Now that the samples have arrived, space agency scientists have asked Father Robert J. Mackey, curator of the meteorite collection at the Vatican Observatory and one of the world’s leading experts on space rocks. Last year, he worked on developing a device to study the density of Bennu samples.

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The religious man will join NASA scientists to use equipment called an ideal gas volatility meter. With the help of the druid equipment, the space agency hopes to solve the mystery of the rocks on Bennu’s surface.

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The path of asteroid Bennu, which has a diameter of about 490 meters, is closely monitored by astronomers. This space object has a 1 in 2,700 chance of hitting Earth in the year 2182.

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