Just when you thought that “the laws of physics” were definitive, it turns out that there is an exception to every rule. Yes, every rule!
“Despite a speed of nine miles per second, or 38,000 mph, the object’s arrival isn’t expected till 2880 — March 16, to be precise.”
Selwyn Duke writing at The New American in 2014:
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Aside from its troubling trajectory, the space rock has another unusual characteristic. Writes Dearden, “The University of Tennessee researchers said 1950 DA is rotating so quickly it ‘defies gravity’ and is held together by cohesive forces, called van der Waals, never before detected on an asteroid.… Previous research has shown that asteroids are loose piles of rubble held together by gravity and friction but by calculating 1950 DA’s thermal inertia and bulk density, the team detected the action of cohesive forces that stop it breaking up.” In fact, scientists say that the asteroid is spinning so rapidly that it would disintegrate if gravity were the only force acting on it.