Space dust from 4.2bn-year-old asteroid could hold key to preventing cataclysmic collisions with Earth

Rubble pile asteroid is almost as old as the solar system, a sign that it can withstand great shocks and may be difficult to destroy, study finds

Tiny specks of dust from a “giant space cushion” almost as old as the solar system can provide new clues about how to avoid catastrophic asteroid collisions with Earth, research suggests.

Three tiny particles of dust – smaller than the diameter of a hair – collected from a 500-metre-long asteroid known as Itokawa show some of these space rocks are much older and tougher than previously thought.

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