Hektor: The Largest Highly Elongated Asteroid

Science  29 Feb 1980:
Vol. 207, Issue 4434, pp. 976-977
DOI: 10.1126/science.207.4434.976


New observations of Trojan asteroid 624, Hektor, in April 1979 establish that the high amplitude of the rotational light curve of this object is caused by its elongated shape and not by patches of dark and light albedo on opposing hemispheres. These observations confirm that Hektor is a very unusual object and are consistent with the hypothesis that it may be a compound asteroid formed when two Trojans of comparable size fell together—a rare fossilized example of a planetary accretion process.