Queen musician Brian May and NASA create new book about asteroid

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A new book entitled “Bennu 3-D: Anatomy of an Asteroid” showcases photos from a mission to Bennu to compile the world’s first 3-D atlas of an asteroid.

The book was co-authored by University of Arizona professor and OSIRIS-REx principal investigator Dante Lauretta and Brian May, a Ph.D. astrophysicist also known for his other job as lead guitarist and founding member of the rock band Queen. OSIRIS-REx scooped up material from Bennu and is on its way back to the Earth’s atmosphere to drop a capsule containing the sample.

May played a significant role in the mission. He and his collaborator, Dr. Claudia Manzoni, used early, publicly available data collected by the spacecraft to produce stereoscopic images showing Bennu’s rugged and dangerous landscape in what Lauretta described as “glorious 3-D.”

May and Manzoni would go on to produce countless stereo images of Bennu’s terrain helping the team identify small craters filled with fine-grain material for the spacecraft to safely sample.

The drop with the samples will happen Sunday, Sept. 24.

Dante Lauretta, author of "Bennu 3-D: Anatomy of an Asteroid"

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