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reply to post by JadeStar
Yes, of course, a natural explanation may well apply. Still, with such an unusual phenomenon as this, with its unique properties, it couldn't hurt to at least consider the unlikely possibility of some sort of extraterrestrial intervention.
I hadn't thought of an asteroid being mined. Long narrow trails of debris flying out in various directions didn't seem to readily suggest this.
It's interesting that so little seems to have been heard about the additional work on this object, after late September. I haven't been able to find even a rough, tentative value for the rotation period of the object. This appears to be the key to either supporting or eliminating the centrifugal disruption model.
That's a good, imaginative scenario. If the six tails weren't wholly due to the spin of the asteroid, there could be multiple mining sites. The energy to eject mining debris into space from such a small asteroid would be negligible, perhaps merely a biproduct of mining operations.
There were early attempts to get a light curve for this object. They failed to show any substantial variation. It may be quite a feat to accomplish this, for an object a few hundred meters in size, and the distance of the main belt of asteroids.
Thanks for offering to watch for news of this object from the American Astronomical Society meeting. I'd be interested in anything you hear.
Thanks, JadeStar, for the AAS meeting schedule. I checked the names of the principal investigators of P/2013 P5 with the search function. Not found. Also looked through the daily lists of presentations, but found nothing relevant.
With one observing session only five days ago, and another set for February, they may not be ready to discuss their findings.