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Economic news / Економічні новини

News of economy, energy, trade, finance / Новини економіки, енергетики, торгівлі, фінансів

Fast-spinning asteroid discovered near Earth


Чер 25, 2022

Scientists at the University of Central Florida have published data on the observation of asteroid 2019 OK, collected using the Arecibo telescope. The results of the study were published in The Planetary Science Journal.

The celestial body, discovered in 2019 and passing near the Earth, had a diameter of 70 to 130 meters and rotated very quickly with a period of 3-5 minutes. It is probably Type C, consisting of clay and silicate rocks, or Type S, consisting of silicate, nickel and iron. Type C asteroids are among the most common and oldest in the solar system. S-types take the second place in terms of occurrence.

The likely diameter and rotation period suggest that 2019 OK is most likely not a rubble heap object held only by gravity. Thus, 2019 OK is one of a growing number of rapidly rotating near-Earth asteroids that require a certain amount of internal force to keep from falling apart.

Nearly 30,000 asteroids are known, according to the Center for Near Earth Science, and although few of them pose an immediate threat, it is possible that one of them, which is of considerable size, could collide with Earth and cause catastrophic damage.