Saturday, March 28, 2009

fluffballs and killers.

"But 2008 TC3's pieces are strange even for ureilites: they are riddled with an unusually large number of holes, says Zolensky. "It boggles the mind that something that porous could survive as a solid object," he says."

"Knowing what asteroids are made of will be crucial if we ever need to deflect one, says Yeomans. NASA aims to provide decades of warning if any killer asteroids are headed for Earth so that a strategy can be devised to avoid a collision. That strategy will differ for various asteroids, which can range from "wimpy ex-cometary fluffballs", to solid rock, to slabs of nickel-iron, says Yeomans."

"Today's surveys have found almost 90% of near-Earth objects with a diameter of 1 kilometre or larger, says Yeomans, but smaller rocks can easily slip by unnoticed. Discovering 2008 TC3 was like finding "a man in a dark grey suit 50% farther away than the Moon", says Kowalski"

AND, Saturn's moon - Titan has a Cryovolcano "which, in the cold of the outer Solar System, would spew a slurry of ice and liquid hydrocarbons, instead of lava." yo wild! ice spewing volcanoes!

it makes me happy to read witty reporting in Nature.

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