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Space potatoes and rubber duckies: Shattered asteroids reassemble into weird shapes

25 Feb 2020, 14:00 UTC
Space potatoes and rubber duckies: Shattered asteroids reassemble into weird shapes Campo Bagatin, et al. / JAXA (slightly modified by Phil Plait)

I recently wrote about Arrokoth, a double-lobed icy world orbiting the Sun past Pluto, and what we've learned about how it likely formed. There were some details left out, some steps skipped... but it turns out other research fills in those blanks.

The word asteroid literally means "star-like". That's because until very recently, asteroids looked like stars (points of light) in even the biggest telescopes. Some might be hundreds of kilometers across, but the Main Belt, where most of them live, is hundreds of millions of kilometers away.

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