The asteroid is nearly indestructible – ‘like a giant space pillow’

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An asteroid made of pebbles and rock seems almost indestructible — after all, it’s almost as old as the solar system.

Perth – a great part of asteroids According to experts, they are called “rubble piles”. It consists of many smaller pieces of rock held together loosely by gravity. In contrast, homogeneous asteroids consist of a single rock, How do mentioned.

The rubble heap asteroid is known to be Itokawa, an asteroid about 500 meters across that was visited in November 2005 by the Japanese spacecraft Hayabusa-1. In 2010, space probes brought rock samples to Earth – a research team from Curtin University in Perth, Australia, managed to Examine three tiny dust particles and gain important new insights from them.

Rubble Pile Asteroid is made of rocks and empty space – it’s almost indestructible

The most important results of the study in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences released allowed to play a major role in future research. The researchers discovered that the asteroid Itokawa is hard to destroy and resistant to shocks and collisions. The asteroid, which is about the same size as the famous Sydney Harbor Bridge, is also ancient: Itokawa is as old as the solar system in which it moves.

Asteroid Itokawa is 500 meters long and is composed of many boulders and boulders.  (Icon picture)
Asteroid Itokawa is 500 meters long and is composed of many boulders and boulders. (iconic image) © Curtin University

“A monolithic asteroid the size of Itokawa in the asteroid belt is estimated to be only hundreds of thousands of years old,” explains lead author of the study Fred Jordan from Curtin University’s School of Earth and Planetary Sciences. “Unlike monoliths, Iokawa is not a single mass of rock, but is made up of loose boulders and boulders—nearly half of the asteroid is empty space,” Jordan continues.

Asteroid Itokawa is “like a giant space pillow” and is almost indestructible

The researcher is convinced that a major impact at least 4.2 billion years ago hit the interconnected parent asteroid and created Itokawa. “The surprisingly long survival time of an Itokawa-sized asteroid is attributed to the shock-absorbing effect of the materials in the debris piles,” explains the scientist. “In short, we found Itokawa to be like a giant space pillow and very difficult to destroy.”

Until now, it wasn’t clear how long-lived asteroids the rubble mound lives in—which is why it’s so difficult to develop defense strategies for such asteroids. Recently, NASA Tested as part of the “DART” mission.Whether a spacecraft impact could catapult an asteroid off course. In order to develop such plans for “rubble heap” asteroids, researchers must first learn more about them.

The “rubble pile” asteroid is as old as the solar system

“We wanted to see if the ‘rubble pile’ asteroids were resistant to vibration, or if they would disintegrate at the slightest touch,” explains study co-author Nick Thames in one. Message. “Now that we’ve established that they have survived nearly the entire history of the solar system, they should be much more common in the asteroid belt than previously thought, making it more likely that a large asteroid hurtling toward Earth could cause a ‘rubble pile'” – Steroid Will be”.

But what do researchers do with this new knowledge? “The good news is that we can use this information to our advantage,” Thames asserts. “If an asteroid is detected too late for a kinetic collision to occur, we will likely take a more aggressive approach.” nuclear shock wave. An explosion that can throw an asteroid off a rubble pile without destroying it. Scientists will be working on more ideas and scenarios in the future.

News about asteroids

Recently Astronomers have discovered a small asteroidwhich hit Earth shortly thereafter. This was not the first case of this kind.

So it’s no exaggeration to say that studying three grains of asteroid dust may one day save the world — a claim that the study connects to as well in its title: “Asteroid Discoveries of Space Dust Could Save the Planet.” (tab)

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