An asteroid with the fastest rotation was lucky to open the British amateur astronomer Richard Miles (Richard Miles), and he did it in the comfort of your own home.
Object 2008 HJ makes one revolution around its axis in 42.7 seconds, and it is noticeably faster than the previous record-holder — the asteroid 2000 DO8 with the rotational period of 78 seconds.
For observations Miles (chemist by profession, but also — and vice-president of the British Astronomical Association — British Astronomical Association) used a remote-controlled (via the Internet) telescopes in the United States and Australia. Follow up he was able to find only a few days, when the asteroid passed us at a distance of only 2.8 distance from Earth to the Moon.
Speed of the "heavenly stone" relative to the Earth was 45 kilometers per second.
Shooting with the accurate measurement of the brightness it possible to calculate the period of rotation of the rock. He was phenomenal. Now this record confirmed by the International Astronomical Union (IAU), reports New Scientist.
Richard measurement showed that 2008 HJ is a dense rocky body size of 12 x 24 meters and a weight of 5,000 tons.
Finding supports the theory that says that the smaller the asteroid, the faster it is (potentially) can rotate. However, until now, experts only suspected the presence of asteroids in the solar system with such a high (less than one revolution per minute) rate of rotation.
A remarkable record also showed the benefits and importance of access to a large amateur telescopes, pupils and students, who can conduct surveillance for the big time. For example, the measurement of the rotation "of his" asteroid Miles drove through the international project Faulkes Telescope, the contributing fans access to new robotic telescopes.
It should be noted that in the solar system, there are other celestial bodies that orbit extremely fast for his size. So, on the last day planetoid Santa 3:00 54 minutes. Its width, by the way, almost amounts to 2 thousand kilometers, and it is — not an asteroid. So that the object was almost torn rotation.