Why is the asteroid 433-Eros so funny looking?

See hed. Spinoff from a current thread on eccentric orbits.

The thing looks like a deformed seed pod imitating a potato. Planets are spherical, more or less, because of gravitational agglutination, I’ve been told. So is an asteroid, morphologically, just a bunch of stuff that hasn’t been around long enough?

And what is the limit for non-sphericity (there must be a word for that)?

Most asteroids don’t have enough enough gravity to assume a spherical shape. Ceres and a few other asteroids do have enough mass (and hence gravity) to be spherical, and these days they’re considered minor planets, like Pluto. But most asteroids are just irregular lumps of rock.

The term you’re looking for hydrostatic equilibrium.

In general, bodies larger than 400km in diameter are round, while bodies smaller than that are not, with some exceptions on either side.

It looks like a lump of rock with no reason to be any particular shape. Which is, after all, exactly what it is.

I take your point, of course, and the spirit in which it is made.

But since you mention it–since OP has been dealt with, perhaps–the “shape of [a] rock” has countless “reasons.” Ejecta material qualities, environment over time, etc.

It’s simply one of the shapes needed to play Space Tetris.