Simple Physics Solves Mystery of Diamond-Shaped Asteroids

New computer models using simple granular physics have been able to match the curious diamond shape of asteroids like Bennu and Ryugu.

IMAGE: Two diamond shaped, rubble-pile asteroids have been observed near Earth, and were photographed by unmanned spacecrafts in 2018 and 2019. 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. CREDIT: OIST

In our never-ending quest to understand the universe, and especially our own solar system, sometimes you have to go back to the same well over…



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Beth Johnson

Planetary scientist, podcast host. Communication specialist for SETI Institute and Planetary Science Institute. Buy me a coffee: