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Asteroid Arrokoth may have broken its neck in 6400 km per hour impact


Scientist

Asteroid Arrokoth may have broken its neck in 6400 km per hour impact

By Jonathan O’Callaghan How did Arrokoth keep its shape?NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute/Roman TkachenkoWe now have not one but two explanations for how the Kuiper belt object Arrokoth, visited by NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft in early 2019, was able to keep its curious two-lobed shape despite being hit by a large rock…

By Jonathan O’Callaghan

Arrokoth

How did Arrokoth keep its shape?

NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute/Roman Tkachenko

We now have not one but two explanations for how the Kuiper belt object Arrokoth, visited by NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft in early 2019, was able to keep its curious two-lobed shape despite being hit by a large rock at some point in its history.

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A large portion of Arrokoth’s smaller 15-kilometre-wide lobe is taken up by the Maryland crater, which measures about seven kilometres across (see picture). The object that made it must have been several hundred metres wide, and hit it at …

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