If the sun were the size of a person, how big would an asteroid be?

If the sun were the size of a person, how big would an asteroid be?
Artist’s concept of OSIRIS-REx at Bennu. Credit: NASA/GSFC

I love anything that attempts to provide a sense of scale about the Solar System (see here and here for even more examples) and this one brings us down past the Sun, planets, and moons all the way to asteroid size—specifically asteroid 101955 Bennu, the target of the upcoming OSIRIS-REx mission.

Created by the OSIRIS-REx "321Science!" team, consisting of communicators, film and graphic arts students, teens, scientists, and engineers, the video shows some relative scales of our planet compared to the Sun, and also the actual size of Bennu in relation to some familiar human-made structures that we're familiar with. (My personal take-away from this: Bennu—one of those "half grains of sand"—is a rather small target!)

A NASA New Frontiers mission, OSIRIS-REx (Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security, Regolith Explorer) will launch in Sept. 2016 on a two-year journey to the asteroid 101955 Bennu. Upon arrival OSIRIS-REx will map Bennu's surface and also measure the Yarkovsky effect, by which asteroids' trajectories can change over time due to the small force exerted byradiant heat.

OSIRIS-REx will also attempt to collect and send back a 60-gram sample of the asteroid's surface material.


Explore further

NASA's asteroid sample return mission moves into development

Source: Universe Today
Citation: If the sun were the size of a person, how big would an asteroid be? (2014, August 5) retrieved 19 October 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-08-sun-size-person-big-asteroid.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
0 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more