Skip to comments.Hubble spots strange asteroid with 6 tails of dust
Posted on 11/07/2013 12:20:18 PM PST by NormsRevenge
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) This is one strange asteroid.
The Hubble Space Telescope has discovered a six-tailed asteroid in the asteroid belt between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. Scientists say they've never seen anything like it. Incredibly, the comet-like tails change shape as the asteroid sheds dust. The streams have occurred over several months.
(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...
Astronomers ‘dumbfounded’ by six-tailed asteroid
By Irene Klotz
CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (Reuters) - - Astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope have spotted a freakish asteroid with six comet-like tails of dust streaming from its body like spokes on a wheel, scientists said on Thursday.
“We were literally dumbfounded when we saw it,” astronomer David Jewitt with the University of California at Los Angeles, said in a statement. “It’s hard to believe we’re looking at an asteroid.”
Asteroids normally have no tails.
The asteroid, known as P/2013 P5, first appeared as a fuzzy point of light in a sky survey by the Pan-STARRS 1 telescope in Hawaii in August.
News Release Number: STScI-2013-52
NASA’s Hubble Sees Asteroid Spout Six Comet-like Tails
November 7, 2013: It’s not often that astronomers stumble across a celestial interloper that they can only describe as “weird and freakish.” Hubble researchers say they were “literally dumbfounded” when they took a close-up look at an object that lives in the asteroid belt but superficially looks like a comet. It has no less than six dust tails that seem to be forming sequentially. The entire structure rotates like a bicycle wheel with spokes on one side.
One explanation is that the tails formed through a series of impulsive dust-ejection events. These could have been triggered when the gentle nudge of sunlight spun up the asteroid to the point where dust is falling off the surface and into space. Solar radiation stretches the dust into finger-like streamers.
Finally! The Scientologists ride has come for them.
THE EXTRAORDINARY MULTI-TAILED MAIN-BELT COMET P/2013 P5
The Astrophysical Journal Letters Volume 778 Number 1
David Jewitt et al. 2013 ApJ 778 L21 doi:10.1088/2041-8205/778/1/L21
Not sure how much impact this may have on us if it were to disintegrate and slowly head towards a solar ending.
The scientists are quite taken aback.. O o ..
Ya never know..
the same body or a new one..? hmmmm..
must have been quite the sight, totally visible in daylight
Looks like a headlight to me.
Maybe it is looking for Obama.
I dunno, the Mothership may be spinning out of control there, venting plasma ...
What they are seeing is a starcraft. Those "tails" are positioning jets adjusting the flight path...
It's an invasion recon vehicle!!!
I could buy that, it looks like the object changed its orientation, ya never know.
Well, it needs to warm op the blasters then. And ready the photon torpedos.
Which way is the Sun in these photographs?
I don’t care if it’s got a head, six legs and ten tails as long as it’s headed away from Earth!
Thanks NormsRevenge, additional:
Freakish Asteroid Has Six Tails, Sheds Stuff Into Space
Extra to APoD.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.