Arrokoth unmasked: NASA probe's 'space snowman' encounter reveals how planetesimals are born

rod

Oct 22, 2019
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New Horizons' epic encounter with a small body in the far outer solar system is telling us a lot about how planets are born.

Arrokoth unmasked: NASA probe's 'space snowman' encounter reveals how planetesimals are born : Read more
"That snowman shape indicates that Arrokoth formed via a merger of two separate objects, and that this coalescence happened very long ago, back when impact speeds in the outer solar system were quite low. (Collisions in the modern Kuiper Belt are too violent to produce an object with lobes as distinct and undamaged as Arrokoth's, New Horizons team members have said.)"

My observation, the surface has little cratering so the usual assumption would be a much younger surface with few impacts. Here is another report, NASA's space snowman reveals secrets: few craters, no water, "Astronomers reported Thursday that this pristine, primordial cosmic body now called Arrokoth—the most distant object ever explored—is relatively smooth with far fewer craters than expected. It's also entirely ultrared, or highly reflective, which is commonplace in the faraway Twilight Zone of our solar system known as the the Kuiper Belt."

A fresh looking surface with few craters could be interpreted as a young surface age too. The computer models require specific input parameters like the amount of matter that moved in the outer regions of the solar system compared to what is observed and measured today.
 

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