Collisional formation of top-shaped asteroids and implications for the origins of Ryugu and BennuOPEN ACCESS 

P. Michel, R.-L. Ballouz, O. S. Barnouin, M. Jutzi, K. J. Walsh, B. H. May, C. Manzoni, D. C. Richardson, S. R. Schwartz, S. Sugita, S. Watanabe, H. Miyamoto, M. Hirabayashi, W. F. Bottke, H. C. Connolly, M. Yoshikawa & D. S. Lauretta

Nature Communications 11 , 1–11


“Asteroid shapes and hydration levels can serve as tracers of their history and origin. For instance, the asteroids (162173) Ryugu and (101955) Bennu have an oblate spheroidal shape with a pronounced equator, but contain different surface hydration levels. Here we show, through numerical simulations of large asteroid disruptions, that oblate spheroids, some of which have a pronounced equator defining a spinning top shape, can form directly through gravitational reaccumulation. We further show that rubble piles formed in a single disruption can have similar porosities but variable degrees of hydration. The direct formation of top shapes from single disruption alone can explain the relatively old crater-retention ages of the equatorial features of Ryugu and Bennu. Two separate parent-body disruptions are not necessarily required to explain their different hydration levels.”