Astronomers Discover Weird Six-Tailed Asteroid

Geo Beats
2.1K
49 views
  • About
  • Export
  • Add to
The Hubble telescope has caught a glimpse of a strange six-tailed asteroid spinning in space.

The Hubble telescope has caught a glimpse of a strange six-tailed asteroid spinning in space.

It’s been described as looking like a ‘rotating lawn sprinkler’.

While comets are known for their sparkly trails, asteroids typically only emit a single spot of light.

Why this one has six rays emanating from it has scientists scratching their heads.

So far, a popular working theory is that the asteroid is spinning at such an accelerated rate its surface is breaking apart, spewing tons of dust through its tails.

Astronomers estimate that it’s already lost between 100 and 1 thousand tons of small particles through its tails. At present, the main body is thought to measure about 1400 feet across.

Some scientists have posited it could be the first known sighting of a dying asteroid.

Collision with another asteroid has been ruled out as a cause. Radiation from the sun has been named as the most likely catalyst.

It was first spotted in August and drew attention because it looked oddly distorted.

The asteroid is now officially known as P/2013 P5, but before that it was simply called ‘unusually fuzzy-looking object’.

0 comments