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Something Just Destroyed This Asteroid And We Don't Know What It Was

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posted on Mar, 8 2014 @ 11:53 PM
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Astronomers have watched baffled as a mysterious force breaks up an asteroid in deep space.

Asteroid P/2013 R3, which is located in the Solar System's main asteroid belt, broke up between 29 October 2013 and 14 January 2014.

The images of the collapse were captured by the Hubble Space Telescope, and look just like a comet when it breaks up on approach to the Sun.

The strange thing is that in this case there is no apparent reason why the asteroid has broken up.

The European Space Agency has said that nothing like it "has ever been observed before".

"This is a rock. Seeing it fall apart before our eyes is pretty amazing," said David Jewitt of UCLA.

Whatever is happening to the asteroid, it's pretty dramatic. Each of the four largest pieces are 200 metres wide each, and are slowly falling away from each other at about 1.5 km/hour.


www.huffingtonpost.co.uk...



Hmm, now this is curious. They don't know what caused it. Too cold to breakup on its own.



Black hole moving in? Dunno... Posted cause this is well... interesting...

ETA: Maybe it just APPEARED to be one asteroid, but it was really two... or... five? But then something, some force would had to have acted upon it to cause the separation all of a sudden? Hmm, dunno folks... WEIRD! Ok Phage, scramble our brains here with the obvious answer...
edit on Sat Mar 8th 2014 by TrueAmerican because: (no reason given)



+5 more 
posted on Mar, 8 2014 @ 11:58 PM
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The watchers did it ;-)

Interesting really, i am indeed speechless ,if they can't figure it out surely i cannot ;-)
Ty for the thread



posted on Mar, 9 2014 @ 12:01 AM
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How long before The Galactic Federation claims they did it??

S&F That is wild indeed! I imagine we will see a lot more weird stuff as we get "more eyes on the skies" and more technology. It makes your imagination go crazy thinking about it. I can't wait.



posted on Mar, 9 2014 @ 12:02 AM
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reply to post by TrueAmerican
 


More on this at Space.com:


Astronomers continued to observe P/2013 R3 from October through January of this year with Hubble, tracking how the object changed. They determined that the asteroid's fragments are drifting apart at just 0.9 mph (1.5 km/h) — slower than casual walking speed.

"This is a really bizarre thing to observe — we've never seen anything like it before," co-author Jessica Agarwal, of the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research in Germany, said in a statement. "The break-up could have many different causes, but the Hubble observations are detailed enough that we can actually pinpoint the process responsible."

For example, the fragments' leisurely drift argues against a recent collision as the cause of the breakup, researchers said. And the disintegration is probably not due to the warming and vaporization of interior ices, as P/2013 R3 is cold and appears to have remained far from the sun for billions of years. (The asteroid orbits about 300 million miles, or 480 million km, from our star.)

Rather, scientists think P/2013 R3's fragmentation is driven by something called the Yarkovsky-O'Keefe-Radzievskii-Paddack (YORP) effect, which describes how sunlight can cause an object's rotation rate to increase over time.


www.space.com...

And the crucial paragraph:


Celestial bodies absorb light from the sun and then re-emit much of this energy as heat. Irregularly shaped objects such as P/2013 R3 emit more heat from some areas than others, causing a tiny imbalance that spins the body up slowly over time. This increased rotation rate likely has caused P/2013 R3's constituent pieces to move apart due to centrifugal force, researchers said.


Kind of hard to believe that could create enough centrifugal force to cause the breakup of an asteroid!
edit on Sun Mar 9th 2014 by TrueAmerican because: (no reason given)


Wait...wtf? Why have I got 1 million+ stars all of a sudden? Ahh crap... Looks like the glitch finally got me too...Thought I lucked out and was immune...

edit on Sun Mar 9th 2014 by TrueAmerican because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 9 2014 @ 12:11 AM
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TrueAmerican

Wait...wtf? Why have I got 1 million+ stars all of a sudden? Ahh crap... Looks like the glitch finally got me too...Thought I lucked out and was immune...

edit on Sun Mar 9th 2014 by TrueAmerican because: (no reason given)


It was your awesome thread that did it!


The rest of us will have to earn ours the hard way.
Teasing....



posted on Mar, 9 2014 @ 12:13 AM
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reply to post by TrueAmerican
 


Either natural forces as described csused the breakup.
or
Photon torpedo from cloaked Romulan Warbird.

Probably boring old natural forces, interesting nonetheless.


+3 more 
posted on Mar, 9 2014 @ 12:15 AM
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reply to post by TrueAmerican
 





Thought I lucked out and was immune.

Immune from ATS immortality?


On topic: if gravity is the only thing holding a small clump of stuff together it wouldn't take a lot of angular momentum to tear it apart. The escape velocity for a small body is quite...small.


edit on 3/9/2014 by Phage because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 9 2014 @ 12:18 AM
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Perhaps the asteroid had a liquid such as nitrogen that became frozen and split the rock.
liquid nitrogen freezes in a vacuum at -210c or -346f. The vacuum of space is roughly -270 c or -454f.



posted on Mar, 9 2014 @ 12:24 AM
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I read an article pertaining to this story...it suggested that some asteroids can begin to spin so fast after time that they may be torn apart by the sheer force.

"a subtle effect from sunlight that can change the asteroid’s rotation rate and basically cause a rubbly-type asteroid to spin apart."- Read more: www.universetoday.com...



posted on Mar, 9 2014 @ 12:26 AM
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reply to post by Phage
 


No, lol. Immune from the glitch...I've seen other people's accounts with the insane amount of stars- but mine seemed to be ok, until today I guess.

Anyway, I suppose that's possible. Pretty cool though that this is the first time a breakup due to centrifugal force is captured, apparently.



posted on Mar, 9 2014 @ 12:28 AM
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reply to post by TrueAmerican
 

A cool aspect is that sky surveys showed something odd, followed by a ground based telescope (Keck) followed by Hubble being used for a closer look.


edit on 3/9/2014 by Phage because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 9 2014 @ 12:30 AM
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A million stars for wildespace too!

www.abovetopsecret.com...

Starting to sound like Whose line is it anyway

"Welcome to ATS where everything is made up and the points don't matter!"



posted on Mar, 9 2014 @ 12:31 AM
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reply to post by AlphaHawk
 

First one to a billion wins!



posted on Mar, 9 2014 @ 12:34 AM
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And upon doing a search for this asteroid, I found this from Cornell:


Splitting of the nuclei of comets into multiple components has been frequently observed but, to date, no main-belt asteroid has been observed to break-up. Using the Hubble Space Telescope, we find that main-belt asteroid P/2013 R3 consists of 10 or more distinct components, the largest up to 200 m in radius (assumed geometric albedo of 0.05) each of which produces a coma and comet-like dust tail. A diffuse debris cloud with total mass roughly 2x10^8 kg further envelopes the entire system. The velocity dispersion among the components is about V = 0.2 to 0.5 m/s, is comparable to the gravitational escape speeds of the largest members, while their extrapolated plane-of-sky motions suggest break-up between February and September 2013. The broadband optical colors are those of a C-type asteroid. We find no spectral evidence for gaseous emission, placing model-dependent upper limits to the water production rate near 1 kg/s. Breakup may be due to a rotationally induced structural failure of the precursor body.


arxiv.org...

'may be due' ? Well, what if it wasn't, and it was something else? Like what if aliens are using it for target practice? Or what if a black hole started to suck it in? Or what if it wasn't an asteroid at all, and it is a bunch of probes separating from the mothership?

I mean come on here!

Oh looky, it's a youtube video:

edit on Sun Mar 9th 2014 by TrueAmerican because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 9 2014 @ 12:37 AM
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reply to post by TrueAmerican
 


Could be any of those things. But some are more likely than others. Actually, one is more likely than the rest.




The velocity dispersion among the components is about V = 0.2 to 0.5 m/s, is comparable to the gravitational escape speeds of the largest members, while their extrapolated plane-of-sky motions suggest break-up between February and September 2013.


Angular momentum...escape velocity...



posted on Mar, 9 2014 @ 12:46 AM
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reply to post by TrueAmerican
 


Wait wait wait a sec, is this the same thing?


Prepared using the Tamkin Foundation Computer Network

MPC@CFA.HARVARD.EDU
URL www.minorplanetcenter.net... ISSN 1523-6714

COMET P/2013 R3 (CATALINA-PANSTARRS)


MPEC 2013-S53 : COMET P/2013 R3 (CATALINA-PANSTARRS)

Comet?



posted on Mar, 9 2014 @ 12:54 AM
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reply to post by jadedANDcynical
 

It can be a fine line.

UPDATE: Ron Baalke of NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), an expert in all things asteroids and comets, advised via Twitter that ASTEROID 2013 R3 was reclassified as a comet - P/2013 R3 on Sept. 27, 2013. Once again the line between what are comets and asteroids merges; they are probably one in the same in some instances only requiring a change in their environment to change over.

www.whatsupthespaceplace.com...



posted on Mar, 9 2014 @ 01:26 AM
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Wait...wtf? Why have I got 1 million+ stars all of a sudden? Ahh crap... Looks like the glitch finally got me too...Thought I lucked out and was immune...

edit on Sun Mar 9th 2014 by TrueAmerican because: (no reason given)


This must be a very interesting topic.

Either that or The Glitch Fairy found you.



posted on Mar, 9 2014 @ 01:30 AM
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So.... where are all these "parts" heading?

As a expert armchair space person, looking at the pics in the op these parts are heading directly towards earth or somewhere else .
edit on 9-3-2014 by ZeussusZ because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 9 2014 @ 01:50 AM
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reply to post by TrueAmerican
 


'Tis a mystery indeed, There are people far more qualified than I to explain this, but I'll give it a shot...

Perhaps it's a fairly young asteroid that hasn't properly coalesced yet, Many larger asteroids are made up of smaller asteroids drawn together by gravity, maybe the gravitational bond wasn't strong enough and exterior forces tore it apart.

I'm sure it won't take long before someone figures it out.



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