Searching for meteoroids of Bennu at Earth

22 December 2022

Tim Cooper is co-author of a new paper titled ‘An observing campaign to search for meteoroids of Bennu at Earth’ in the latest publication of the journal Icarus and describes the results of three years of video monitoring to detect meteors from asteroid 101955 Bennu.

Magda Streicher and Tim also conducted a visual campaign during 2022, and results will be published in MNASSA at a later date.

Abstract: An observing campaign was conducted in the Southern Hemisphere using low-light video camera triangulation to measure the trajectories and orbits of meteoroids with a possible origin at asteroid Bennu. New CAMS (Camera for Allsky Meteor Surveillance) video camera networks were established in Australia, Chile, and Namibia, and networks in New Zealand and South Africa were expanded. During observing periods in September 2019, 2020, and 2021, we measured 7672, 4936, and 5890 orbits, respectively. Based on the non-detection of predicted meteoroid trail encounters, Bennu’s meteoroid production rate was not >1.5 kg/s during 1500–1800 CE. Indeed, the current production rate is many orders of magnitude lower. Bennu may have an associated annual meteoroid stream of much older ejecta at a particle flux density of ≤1.3 × 10−6 km−2 h−1, based on seven Bennu-like orbits detected during the first three years of observations.

The paper can be viewed at: