Bright carbonate veins on asteroid (101955) Bennu: Implications for aqueous alteration history

1,2H.H.Kaplan et al. (>10)
Science 370, eabc3557 Link to Article [DOI: 10.1126/science.abc3557]
1NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, USA.
2Southwest Research Institute, Boulder, CO, USA.
Reprinted with permission from AAAS

The composition of asteroids and their connection to meteorites provide insight into geologic processes that occurred in the early Solar System. We present spectra of the Nightingale crater region on near-Earth asteroid Bennu with a distinct infrared absorption around 3.4 micrometers. Corresponding images of boulders show centimeters-thick, roughly meter-long bright veins. We interpret the veins as being composed of carbonates, similar to those found in aqueously altered carbonaceous chondrite meteorites. If the veins on Bennu are carbonates, fluid flow and hydrothermal deposition on Bennu’s parent body would have occurred on kilometer scales for thousands to millions of years. This suggests large-scale, open-system hydrothermal alteration of carbonaceous asteroids in the early Solar System.


Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s