Feared Asteroid Turns Out To Be A Pile Of Rubble

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An asteroid that had astronomers shaking in their boots for fear it would collide with Earth has turned out to be a weak pile of rubble.

An asteroid that had astronomers shaking in their boots for fear it would collide with Earth has turned out to be a weak pile of rubble.

Dubbed 1950 DA, the asteroid was deemed capable of causing 200-foot tsunami waves if it landed in the Atlantic Ocean.

Due to the potential calamity, scientists have kept their eye on it.

Recently they discovered that about half of the nearly mile-wide mass is empty space.

It’s rocks are being held together by less force than is needed to lift a penny.

That’s a particularly puzzling realization as the rate at which it’s spinning suggests the rocks should be hurled into space.

So, how is it possible?

Astronomers suspect that van der Waals forces, weak and short-reaching molecular attraction charges, are in play.

That theory would explain how it’s managed to keep itself in formation, but also allows for the possibility that it’s already experienced some significant loss of peripheral mass.

With this new information comes the opportunity to investigate ways of intentionally breaking apart or diverting asteroids headed for Earth.

NASA currently has plans to send manned exploratory missions to study asteroids.

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