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What We Know About 2008 EV5

Near-Earth asteroid 2008 EV5 was discovered on March 4, 2008, by the Catalina Sky Survey, using radar measurements from both the Goldstone and Arecibo observatories. Its overall shape is a 400- ± 50-meter oblate spheroid (Busch et al., 2011).

Asteroid 2008 EV5 is a target for MarcoPolo-R and other spacecraft rendezvous missions because of its low acceleration; it is easier for a spacecraft to intercept an asteroid that moves more slowly.

A notable surface feature of this asteroid is a ridge parallel to the asteroid’s equator, which gives this asteroid its unique “muffin” shape. There is also a concave area, shown in the top center panel of the image below, that is of interest to scientists. This concavity may indicate an impact from another object, and loose material may lie in the well for further investigation.

Model of asteroid based on radar observations

Image credit: Busch, M. W., Ostro, S. J., Benner, L. A. M., Brozovic, M., Giorgini, J. D., et al., Radar observations and the shape of near-Earth asteroid 2008 EV5, Icarus, Volume 212, Issue 2, April 2011, pp. 649–660, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.icarus.2011.01.013. In this image, size is indicated by the scale bar, and yellow denotes regions that were poorly observed.

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