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No. 5: November 1978

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Asteroids with moons?

Several recent observations made of asteroids as they occult stars suggest that some asteroids are circled by moonlets. The observational technique used resembles that employed in the discovery of the now-famous rings of Uranus. Briefly, the star being observed blinks out not once in a clean-cut fashion but in a complex scenario that may indicate the presence of a second body. To illustrate, during the 1975 occultation of a star by the asteroid Eros "all sorts of people saw things," meaning secondary events or extra dimmings. Another kind of supporting evidence comes from the light curve of 44 Nysa, which closely resembles that of an eclipsing binary star.

(Anonymous; "Asteroids with Moons?" Science News, 114:36, 1978.)

From Science Frontiers #5, November 1978. � 1978-2000 William R. Corliss