Structure of Asteroid 2011 MD

Structure of Asteroid 2011 MD

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Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Structure of Asteroid 2011 MD. Computer illustration showing one of the proposed structures for asteroid 2011 MD. 2011 MD is a small asteroid being considered by NASA for its proposed Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM), a potential future space mission to rendezvous with a near-Earth asteroid (NEA) and retrieve a boulder from it. Observations from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope have helped to reveal that 2011 MD consists of about two-thirds empty space. There are several possible structures that would explain such an asteroid. One is that it consists of a solid rock with a halo of fine debris around it (shown here). Another is that it is a fleet of flying boulders.

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Keywords: 2011 md, artwork, asteroid, astrogeological, astrogeology, astronomical, astronomy, astrophysical, astrophysics, black background, debris, geographical, geography, geological, geology, halo, illustration, nea, near-earth object, neo, no-one, nobody, planetary science, rock, rocks, rocky, space observation, structure, theoretical, theory

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