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Bennu 3-D: Anatomy of an Asteroid (Hardcover)

Bennu 3-D: Anatomy of an Asteroid By Dante S. Lauretta, Brian May, Carina A. Bennett, Kenneth S. Coles, Claudia Manzoni, Catherine W. V. Wolner Cover Image


Bennu, named for the ancient Egyptian phoenix, was the chosen destination of OSIRIS-REx, NASA’s premier mission of asteroid exploration, launched in 2016. Study of the asteroid is important in safeguarding the future of planet Earth, but Bennu is also a time capsule from the dawn of our Solar System, holding secrets over four-and-a-half billion years old about the origin of life and Earth as a habitable planet.

In 2020 the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft successfully landed on the surface of Bennu and collected pristine asteroid material for delivery to Earth in September 2023. Scientific studies of the samples, along with data collected during the rendezvous, promise to help find answers to some of humanity’s deepest questions: Where did we come from? What is our destiny in space?

This book, the world’s first complete (and stereoscopic) atlas of an asteroid, is the result of a unique collaboration between OSIRIS-REx mission leader Dante Lauretta and Brian May’s London Stereoscopic Company. Lauretta’s colleagues include Carina Bennett, Kenneth Coles, and Cat Wolner, as well as Brian May and Claudia Manzoni, who became part of the ultimately successful effort to find a safe landing site for sampling. The text details the data collected by the mission so far, and the stereo images have been meticulously created by Manzoni and May from original images collected by the OSIRIS-REx cameras.

About the Author

Dante Lauretta is a Regents Professor in the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory at the University of Arizona in Tucson, AZ. He holds a B.S. in Mathematics and Physics and a B.A. in East Asian Studies from the University of Arizona. He completed his Ph.D. in Earth and Planetary Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis. His research interests include the formation and evolution of the Solar System and the origin of life, with an emphasis on laboratory studies of meteorites and returned extraterrestrial samples, as well as spacecraft exploration of asteroids and comets.

Sir Brian May, CBE, Ph.D, ARCS, FRAS is a founding member of the rock group Queen, a world-renowned guitarist, songwriter, producer and performer, 3-D stereoscopic photographic authority, author, publisher, and passionate campaigner for animal rights. On graduating from Imperial College London in 1968 with a B.Sc. (Hons) degree in physics, Brian began a Ph.D. in Astrophysics, recording high-resolution spectra of the Zodiacal Light using a home-spun Fabry-Perot Spectrometer. In 1974, when his musical career with Queen took over, Brian was forced to shelve his Ph.D. work, but in 2006, with the encouragement of Professor Michael Rowan Robinson, Professor Francisco Sanchez Martinez, Dr Garik Israelian, and Sir Patrick Moore, he returned to complete his studies.

Carina A. Bennett is a Project Manager and Software Engineer in the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory at the University of Arizona. She holds a B.A. in Media Arts and Creative Writing, a B.S. in Computer Science, and a M.S. in Computer Science from the University of Arizona as well as a M.F.A in Film Production from the University of Iowa. She is a collaborator on the OSIRIS-REx mission to Bennu and previously worked as a Senior Image Processing Engineer as part of the mission’s Image Processing Working Group, where she developed software to automate the production of controlled mosaics and thematic maps for the mission. She has extensive experience working with images of irregularly shaped small planetary bodies and has advised the US Geological Survey’s Astrogeology Science Center on the capabilities required to successfully implement 3-D shape model support. In 2019 Bennett was awarded the OSIRIS-REx PI Award of  Distinction and has been nominated for a Rocky Mountain Regional Emmy for her video production work.

Kenneth S. Coles is Professor in the Department of Geography, Geology, Environment, and Planning and Planetarium Director at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, where he teaches astronomy and planetary geology courses. He holds a B.S. and M.S. in geology from Caltech and a Ph.D. in geology from Columbia University. For thirty years he has specialized in presenting planetary science discoveries to undergraduate students, schoolchildren, and the general public.

Claudia Manzoni is an amateur astro-stereographer who enjoys composing stereo views of Solar System objects from images in space agencies’ archives — something she has been collaborating on with Sir Brian May for almost ten years. This passion led her to contribute in the role of 3-D compositor and researcher to Mission Moon 3-D: Reliving the Great Space Race by David J. Eicher and Brian May, published by the London Stereoscopic Company and MIT Press  in October 2018.

C. W. V. Wolner, also of the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory at the University of Arizona, is the Chief Editor of the OSIRIS-REx mission, overseeing the scientific publications produced by the team and writing about their findings for different  audiences. Wolner completed a B.A. at Oberlin College and the University of Aberdeen, and a M.S. at the University of Virginia, both in Earth sciences. She has also taught undergraduate geology in the laboratory and the field. Before  joining OSIRIS-REx, she worked at the editorial-production nexus of the journal Science and as a science writer with the U.S. Global Change Research Program, where her team received an Award for Excellence from the White House for the 2014 National Climate Assessment.

Praise For…

“This is an unprecedented book, a chance to travel out into the solar system to another world and to explore it in magnificent 3-D. This spectacular journey of the mind and eye takes me to places I’ve never been, and warms my astro-loving heart!”—David J. Eicher, editor of Astronomy magazine

Product Details
ISBN: 9780816551767
ISBN-10: 0816551766
Publisher: University of Arizona Press
Publication Date: July 27th, 2023
Pages: 208
Language: English

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