Contact binary (small Solar System body)
A contact binary is a small Solar System body that is composed of two bodies that have gravitated toward each other until they touch. This means contact binaries have odd shapes. Comet Churyumov–Gerasimenko and Comet Tuttle are most likely contact binaries. Asteroids suspected of being contact binaries include the unusually elongated 624 Hektor and the bilobated 216 Kleopatra and 4769 Castalia. 25143 Itokawa, which was photographed by the Hayabusa probe, also appears to be a contact binary which has resulted in an elongated, bent body. About 10–15% of near-Earth asteroids larger than 200 meters are expected to be contact binaries with two lobes in mutual contact.
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- Quick Rosetta update: Churyumov-Gerasimenko is a contact binary!
- Success! A final flawless burn. Rosetta now in tandem with its comet
- Michael Busch (2012-03-12). "Near-Earth Asteroids and Radar Speckle Tracking" (PDF). Retrieved 2014-02-28.
- Dr. Lance A. M. Benner (2013-11-18). "Binary and Ternary near-Earth Asteroids detected by radar". NASA/JPL Asteroid Radar Research. Retrieved 2014-03-01.