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Solar system

Cracking up on asteroids

A combination of laboratory experiments and modelling shows that diurnal temperature variations are the main cause of rock breakdown and the ensuing formation of powdery rubble on the surface of small asteroids. See Letter p.233

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Figure 1: Asteroid Ida.

NASA/JPL

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Correspondence to Heather A. Viles.

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Viles, H. Cracking up on asteroids. Nature 508, 190–191 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1038/nature13222

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