Friday, September 24

The asteroid made famous by Isaac Asimov revives with theory | Digital Trends Spanish

Isaac Asimov catapulted the asteroid Vesta in one of his most famous novels called Marooned off Vesta, and that tells the story of three men who survive in the wreckage of the Silver Queen spacecraft in an asteroid belt.

Also known as a planetesimal, which is a building block with a mantle, crust, and core that helps the formation of planets, and with a diameter of approximately 330 miles, this object that orbits the Sun between the planets Mars and Jupiter now has a new theory by astronomers.

Christian Klimczak, associate professor in the geology department at the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, believes that the rocky basins and valleys of the asteroid, could give an explanation about the formation of planetary surface in the solar system.

“Vesta was also on its way to becoming an Earth-like planet, but planet formation stopped along the way early in the history of our solar system,” Klimczak said. “So studying Vesta helps us understand the early days of our planetary neighborhood and how our own planet formed.”

The new theory about Vesta

Jupiter Cheng, a doctoral candidate in the department of geography and a co-author of the study, began studying the formation of channels in Vesta by counting craters on its surface, to determine the age of valleys and basins.

“Consequently, counting the number of craters of various sizes in a given area allows us to determine how long they have accumulated and, consequently, how long ago the surface was formed. Our result shows that the channels and basins have similar crater numbers of various sizes, indicating that they share a similar age. However, the uncertainties associated with the crater counts allow the troughs to have formed long after the impacts, ”Cheng said.

The main conclusion of the study is that the formation of these channels in Vesta must imply the opening of cracks, which provides alternatives to the origin through the channel and the geological history of the asteroid and that would determine new similar landforms in other small planetary bodies. in other parts of the solar system.

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