Observed and simulated shape of a rotating rubble-pile asteroid

6 Sep 2021

Two diamond shaped, rubble-pile asteroids have been observed near Earth, and were photographed by unmanned spacecrafts in 2018 and 2019. Scientists at OIST and Rutgers University have used a simple model normally reserved for the flow of grains to explain their unusual shape. In this image, a photograph of one of the asteroids, Bennu, is shown on the left. On the right, a simulation using the model is shown. As can be seen, the shape of the simulation matches that of Bennu. This image appeared in the press release “Diamonds in the sky”.

Free for anyone to re-use, but must be credited to OIST.
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