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You have never seen a asteroid like this before.

This technicolor marvel is a compilation of more than 11 million dimensions of an asteroid called Bennu, all gathered by a NASA probe called OSIRIS-REx. This spacecraft came at December and since that time has been running a planned survey of their space rock.

Connected: The Way OSIRIS-REx’s Team Creates Amazing Asteroid Bennu Photos  

The 3-dimensional view is based on information gathered in February and reveals the surface elevation of Bennu, with a nearly 200-foot (60-meter) difference in elevation between the lowland dark blue areas and the red peaks.

Nowthe spacecraft has only entered a stage known as the Detailed Survey: Equatorial Stations, and follows the thorough Survey: Baseball Diamond point that the team supporting the mission only concluded. Both phases are detailed assessments of this asteroid, and also the spacecraft will sample as the culmination of its assignment Bennu.

The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft captured this image of the largest rock on the surface of the asteroid Bennu on March 7, 2019.

The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft captured this picture of the biggest rock on the surface of the asteroid Bennu on March 7, 2019.

(Picture: © NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona)

The Baseball Diamond stage — named for a former design of the precise route of the spacecraft around the asteroid, although the trajectory was redesigned in a manner that eliminated which similarity — lasted nearly two months and led to some amazing images of Bennu’s rocky surface.

The largest of these stones is particularly striking in this picture, taken from approximately 3 miles (4.8 km ) away. In it, the boulder occupies a lot of this 191-foot-wide (58 meters) field of view. The picture was recorded by the spacecraft’s PolyCam camera on March 7. )

A wide-angle view of Bennu's south pole captured by the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft on March 14, 2019.

A wide-angle perspective of Bennu’s south pole captured by the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft on March (********************************************************), respectively 2019. 

(Picture: © NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona)

A later move during the Baseball Diamond phase led to wider-angle images of the asteroid, such as a single showing away Bennu’s south pole. This picture shows much more of the asteroid itself — that the field of view spans 847 ft (258 m). Besides the asteroid surface, that this view also reveals a crater dimpling Bennu.

Now it has transitioned in the Equatorial Stations phase of its survey, OSIRIS-REx will carry on another pattern for scanning Bennu’s surface. The stage will continue through June, at that time the spacecraft will slide right into a steady orbit roughly 0.6 miles (1 km) above the asteroid. 

An image from late in OSIRIS-REx's Baseball Diamond phase shows a boulder field on the surface of the southern hemisphere of the asteroid Bennu.

An image from late at OSIRIS-REx’s Baseball Diamond stage shows a boulder field in the surface of the southern hemisphere of the asteroid Bennu. 

(Image: © NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona)

And that maneuver will probably split the spacecraft’s personal document for the closest to a small celestial body that a stunt has ever orbited. By the time that stage ends in the fall of 2019, the group will have selected the candidate websites to get sample collection.

However OSIRIS-REx has plenty of time to carry on to scale Bennu’s rocky surface and tease out its own secrets — the spacecraft is not due to return to Earth before March 2021.

Email Meghan Bartels at mbartels@space.com or follow her @meghanbartels. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook.  

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