21 votes

Did the temporary asteroid name DA₄₂ arise naturally and fortuitously (as a precursor to a Douglas Adams namesake)? Or did someone help it along?

There are other asteroids with provisional designation DA42. "D" means the second half of February, A=1 and 42 means the letters A-Z (excluding J) have been assigned 42 times. 2001 DA42 ...
  • 94.2k
6 votes

Does anything orbit the Sun faster than Mercury?

2022 update. The asteroid 2021 PH27 has an orbital period of 114.6 days, setting a new record for any non-Mercury solar system object.
5 votes

If two fast asteroids collided, would the temperature and pressure be high enough to cause nuclear fusion?

A different approach, ignoring any details of the collision. Note extreme simplifications will occur, do not try this at home... The easiest hydrogen isotope fusion process is D-T, with a cross ...
3 votes
Accepted

The Interpretation of Uncertainty Map of NEO in Minor Planet Center page

These uncertainty plots are meant to aid observers trying to confirm Near Earth Object (NEO) candidates found by the surveys. Since the NEO surveys typically take 3-4 observations of a survey field ...
  • 7,383
2 votes

If two fast asteroids collided, would the temperature and pressure be high enough to cause nuclear fusion?

Not even close. This would have to be a rough "Fermi" estimate, Lets suppose the asteroids are 50km in diameter and moving at a relative velocity of 50km/s. And so lets say the collision ...
  • 94.2k

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