Asteroids Don’t Break Up Like You Think They Do: Study
Artist’s impression of an asteroid breaking up. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
The early Solar System was a shooting gallery. Smaller-body collisions happened far more frequently than we see it today, pockmarking the Moon and Mercury. On a larger scale, simulation show the Earth came close to blowing apart when a Mars-sized object crashed into us long ago.
So we’d be forgiven for thinking that it’s asteroid collisions that cause these tiny bodies to break up, given their numbers and the history of our neighborhood. But it turns out, a new study says, that the larger asteroids likely have another way of coming apart.
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