When NASA’s DART probe smashed into the asteroid’s moon Dimorphos on Sept. 27, 2022, it was a complete mission success: The object’s orbital period around the asteroid Didymos was reduced by more than half an hour—more than its participants could have hoped for. to. Shortly before its end, the probe was able to take some pictures of the perineum and collect data. Analysis of this material indicates that the asteroid is actively throwing material into space. There are probably millions of other small asteroids doing this as well, and continuously throughout the solar system. This is reported by Nair Trugolo of the University of Alicante and his team over at arXiv.
In accordance with this, Didymus rotates very quickly, and the centrifugal forces caused by this, especially at the equator, are sufficient to lift stones and dust from the surface and throw them into space, where they then float above the surface or in orbit around the asteroid. To enter once every 2 hours 16 minutes, the part rotates completely around its axis. At these speeds, Didymus is an asteroid “on the verge of settling down,” the authors write.
Heavier particles can float for a while after liftoff, land on the surface, break off again, and these same cycles repeat over and over. Or they eventually land at latitudes from which no further take-off is possible. Some of the floating rocks will reach orbit, and others may land from a companion to Dimorphos. Even smaller particles may disappear from the system as the solar wind pushes them further into space and out of the asteroid’s gravitational field.
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