Research Articles

Asteroid 1986 DA: Radar Evidence for a Metallic Composition

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Science  07 Jun 1991:
Vol. 252, Issue 5011, pp. 1399-1404
DOI: 10.1126/science.252.5011.1399


Echoes from the near-Earth object 1986 DA show it to be significantly more reflective than other radar-detected asteroids. This result supports the hypothesis that 1986 DA is a piece of NiFe metal derived from the interior of a much larger object that melted, differentiated, cooled, and subsequently was disrupted in a catastrophic collision. This 2-kilometer asteroid, which appears smooth at centimeter to meter scales but extremely irregular at 10- to 100-meter scales, might be (or have been a part of the parent body of some iron meteorites.

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