Hubble spots an asteroid spout six comet-like tails.


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Hubble spots an asteroid spout six comet-like tails.

Astronomers viewing our solar system’s asteroid belt with NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope have seen for the first time an asteroid with six comet-like tails of dust radiating from it like spokes on a wheel. Unlike all other known asteroids, which appear simply as tiny points of light, this asteroid, designated P/2013 P5, resembles a rotating lawn sprinkler. Astronomers are puzzled over the asteroid’s unusual appearance.

5 comments

  • Orion314

    Puzzled is quite the understatement,,, if anything I’ve ever seen looks like a text book sci-fi example of alien contact, this is it!!!
    How can a tumbling asteroid/comet type body emit laser like beams? Also, the rotating lawn sprinkler example just doesn’t work, since those generate spiral arms, whereas these are straight out beams…Think of the old ball and mace, i.e. a spiked ball. This is really a must see…BTW, how is it the last couple of HST photos released of Comet Ison and this crazy asteroid have NO stars in the background whatsoever? How is this even possible? Of all the thousands of pics of comets and asteroids I’ve ever seen, I can never recall seeing any with no stars (or blurred star trails)in the background..Did Nasa/JPL photoshop these out? Very odd….
    Clearskies!

  • The lack of stars in the background is merely a question of exposure and timing. I’ll give you three likely possibilities. 1. The asteroid and its tails is likely bright, requiring a relatively short exposure. Thus, the stars are likely too dim to stand out. 2. They probably enhanced the image digitally to bring out the asteroid and tails, which could very easily have made the stars less visible. 3. The asteroid is moving against a field of stars, and thus to keep the asteroid sharp the stars would move and become blurred, making them less visible as well.

    All in all, not odd at all.

  • Don

    Paging Richard C Hoagland. LOL

  • Orion314

    LOL, ;) , I thought of the RCH connection AFTER I posted, hoped no one else would have thought of it…neverless , the HST photo I viewed on space.com of the asteroid? ,was unlike anything I’ve seen b4, perhaps because it was such a tight/close in photo, the tails go striaght out ,
    clearskies!
    mb

  • Don

    Perhaps Geoorge Noury will turn the show over to Hoagland yet again, for more insanity from the man.

    I believe Art Bell washed his hands of Hoagland years ago. But who knows, he needs guests for his return to the airwaves show.

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