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'Sprinkler' Asteroid Has Six Comet-Like Tails

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posted on Nov, 7 2013 @ 06:54 PM
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Astronomers staring deep into space through the giant Hubble Space Telescope have found that a new asteroid has six comet-like tails.

The faint streaks, which radiate from the asteroid like spokes on a wheel, are generated as the rock streaks through the solar system, shedding dust as it goes.

Unusually, the object, known as P/2013 P5 and likened to a "rotating lawn sprinkler" by experts at Nasa, regularly changes its appearance.

..."This is just an amazing object to us, and almost certainly the first of many more to come."

'Sprinkler' Asteroid Has Six Comet-Like Tails

The asteroid is 1,400 feet wide and has been ejecting dust for at least five months - it's the spin that causing the dust and tails. But wow.

David Jewitt, an astronomer at the University of California in Los Angeles, said the discovery left his team "dumbfounded".

"We were completely knocked out," he said. "It's hard to believe we're looking at an asteroid."


Researchers say where there's one there's always more. Could be a great show.





edit on 7/11/13 by soficrow because: sp

edit on 7/11/13 by soficrow because: (no reason given)




posted on Nov, 7 2013 @ 07:01 PM
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reply to post by soficrow
 

If it has comet like tail(s) isn't it a comet? Why are they calling it an Asteroid? And how can it spray jets straight out like that? Its spinning so shouldn't the tails have a spiral look to them? Weird.



posted on Nov, 7 2013 @ 07:09 PM
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reply to post by intrptr
 


Comets are ice, dust and gas (more or less). Asteroids are rock and metal. And it's not me who decided it's an asteroid it's NASA. RE: "Its spinning so shouldn't the tails have a spiral look to them?" ...Can't answer that - not my field - maybe the velocity forward overrides the speed of spin. Anyone else?




PS. Check out this thread too (just found it).
edit on 7/11/13 by soficrow because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 7 2013 @ 07:16 PM
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Looks like the Blue Kachina, don't figure...



posted on Nov, 7 2013 @ 07:18 PM
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reply to post by soficrow
 


I'll pay that Sofi !!



posted on Nov, 7 2013 @ 07:19 PM
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just read this myself,its dumb founded nasa how this has changed direction in 2 weeks,just shows again how the so called experts can,t really be experts in anything out in space.

anything is possible and we shouldn,t always believe they know everything.



posted on Nov, 7 2013 @ 07:25 PM
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sparky31
anything is possible and we shouldn,t always believe they know everything.


Or anything.



posted on Nov, 7 2013 @ 10:35 PM
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I wonder if it is the same one as

It too had 6 tails and did fly by of Earth.

Wikipedia Reference Great Comet of 1744
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Comet_of_1744
en.wikipedia.org...

or one that was recorded like that by the Ancient Asians.

I know there is a thread around here about it.
edit on 7-11-2013 by AbleEndangered because: addition



posted on Nov, 8 2013 @ 07:13 AM
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reply to post by AbleEndangered
 


Great find! Thanks.



posted on Nov, 8 2013 @ 01:04 PM
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reply to post by sparky31
 


The original report summary if you're interested.


[url=http://arxiv-web3.library.cornell.edu/abs/1311.1483]The Extraordinary Multi-Tailed Main-Belt Comet P/2013 P5

David Jewitt, Jessica Agarwal, Harold Weaver, Max Mutchler, Stephen Larson
(Submitted on 6 Nov 2013)
Hubble Space Telescope observations of main-belt comet P/2013 P5 reveal an extraordinary system of six dust tails that distinguish this object from any other. Observations two weeks apart show dramatic morphological change in the tails while providing no evidence for secular fading of the object as a whole. Each tail is associated with a unique ejection date, revealing continued, episodic mass loss from the 0.24+/-0.04 km radius nucleus over the last five months. As an inner-belt asteroid and probable Flora family member, the object is likely to be highly metamorphosed and unlikely to contain ice. The protracted period of dust release appears inconsistent with an impact origin, but may be compatible with a body that is losing mass through a rotational instability. We suggest that P/2013 P5 has been accelerated to breakup speed by radiation torques.



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