Solar Spin Put On Asteroid Moon Formation

Friday, July 11, 2008 - 08:28 in Astronomy & Space

Asteroids with moons, which scientists call binary asteroids, are common in the solar system. A longstanding question has been how most such moons are formed. In the journal Nature, a trio of astronomers say the surprising answer is sunlight, which can increase or decrease the spin rate of an asteroid. Their findings match observations and give information important for deflecting threatening asteroids away from Earth.

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