Skip to main content

Asteroid's puzzling moon likely formed after a sun-driven quake, study finds

·1 min

Astronomers were surprised by the recent discovery made by NASA’s Lucy mission. During its flyby of an asteroid called Dinkinesh, Lucy observed a contact binary, which is composed of two smaller rocks touching each other, orbiting around the asteroid like a moon. This is the first time a contact binary has been observed orbiting an asteroid. The findings from studying Lucy’s observations of Dinkinesh, published in the journal Nature, reveal that the asteroid and its contact binary, now named Selam, are more complex than anticipated. These complexities could potentially change our understanding of how asteroids and planets form in our solar system.