Asteroid Eros poses a magnetic puzzle | Science News

Be a Champion for Science

Get your subscription to

Science News when you join.


Asteroid Eros poses a magnetic puzzle

11:00am, May 30, 2001

A space probe called NEAR-Shoemaker made history last February when it became the first craft to land on an asteroid, a potato-shaped rock called 433 Eros. Not only did the 2,400-kilogram craft survive the descent onto Eros (SN: 2/17/01, p. 103), but measurements with its magnetometer a few days after landing confirmed a major mystery. Eros, indeed, has no detectable magnetic field.

That's puzzling because meteorites, which are believed to be fragments of asteroids, possess magnetic fields. How could a chip of an asteroid be magnetic if the parent asteroid isn't?

This article is available only to subscribing members. Join the Society today or Log in.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from Science News