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Space Science

Landing On an Asteroid Might Cause an Avalanche 35

Posted by Soulskill
from the future-landers-must-be-equipped-with-skis dept.
coondoggie writes "As if landing on an asteroid wouldn't be dangerous enough, a new microgravity experiment on the forces generated by an asteroid and its make-up suggests landing on one may cause a big avalanche. The rubble and dust covering asteroids and comets can feel changes in what is known as 'force-chains' between particles over much larger distances than on Earth, making these surfaces less stable than previously imagined, said Dr. Ben Rozitis of the Open University, who presented his experiment's findings (abstract) on July 4 at the National Astronomy Meeting."
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Landing On an Asteroid Might Cause an Avalanche

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  • But very slowly (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 05, 2013 @12:43PM (#44195737)

    In microgravity just how fast could that avalanche be?

    Less than one millimeter an hour?

    The effect would resemble plant growth more than 1/2 a mountain falling on you in a second or two.

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