Learn More
High-resolution radar images reveal near-Earth asteroid (66391) 1999 KW4 to be a binary system. The approximately 1.5-kilometer-diameter primary (Alpha) is an unconsolidated gravitational aggregate with a spin period approximately 2.8 hours, bulk density approximately 2 grams per cubic centimeter, porosity approximately 50%, and an oblate shape dominated by(More)
During the interval from September through early December 2005, the Hayabusa spacecraft was in close proximity to near-Earth asteroid 25143 Itokawa, and a variety of data were taken on its shape, mass, and surface topography as well as its mineralogic and elemental abundances. The asteroid's orthogonal axes are 535, 294, and 209 meters, the mass is 3.51 x(More)
Dynamical simulations of the coupled rotational and orbital dynamics of binary near-Earth asteroid 66391 (1999 KW4) suggest that it is excited as a result of perturbations from the Sun during perihelion passages. Excitation of the mutual orbit will stimulate complex fluctuations in the orbit and rotation of both components, inducing the attitude of the(More)
The ranging instrument aboard the Hayabusa spacecraft measured the surface topography of asteroid 25143 Itokawa and its mass. A typical rough area is similar in roughness to debris located on the interior wall of a large crater on asteroid 433 Eros, which suggests a surface structure on Itokawa similar to crater ejecta on Eros. The mass of Itokawa was(More)
High-resolution images of the surface of asteroid Itokawa from the Hayabusa mission reveal it to be covered with unconsolidated millimeter-sized and larger gravels. Locations and morphologic characteristics of this gravel indicate that Itokawa has experienced considerable vibrations, which have triggered global-scale granular processes in its dry, vacuum,(More)
After global observations of asteroid 25143 Itokawa by the Hayabusa spacecraft, we selected the smooth terrain of the Muses Sea for two touchdowns carried out on 19 and 25 November 2005 UTC for the first asteroid sample collection with an impact sampling mechanism. Here, we report initial findings about geological features, surface condition, regolith grain(More)
Radar and optical observations reveal that the continuous increase in the spin rate of near-Earth asteroid (54509) 2000 PH5 can be attributed to the Yarkovsky-O'Keefe-Radzievskii-Paddack (YORP) effect, a torque due to sunlight. The change in spin rate is in reasonable agreement with theoretical predictions for the YORP acceleration of a body with the(More)