Thursday, November 7, 2013

Bizarre Asteroid with Six Tails Spotted by Hubble Telescope

What if its not an asteroid? -Bill

Bizarre Asteroid with Six Tails Spotted by Hubble Telescope
By Megan Gannon, News Editor   |   November 07, 2013 03:49pm ET

Astronomers have spotted a never-before-seen phenomenon in our solar system's asteroid belt: a space rock with six tails, spewing dust from its nucleus like spouts of water radiating from a lawn sprinkler.

Scientists using the Pan-STARRS 1 telescope at the summit of Maui's Haleakala volcano in Hawaii first detected the six-tailed asteroid in August. They dubbed it P/2013 P5 and noted that it looked fuzzier than typical asteroids, which usually appear as tiny points of light. More detailed observations with the powerful Hubble Space Telescope in September revealed a clearer picture of asteroid, showing it had six comet-like tails.

An asteroid with six tails is shown in images from Hubble.Pin It Named P/2013 P5, this object is the first body in the asteroid belt to be spotted with multiple tails. The tails seem to have swung around in the time between the initial images taken by the Hubble Space Telescope on Sept. 10, 2013 and the second observations on Sept. 23, 2013.

"We were literally dumbfounded when we saw it," researcher David Jewitt of the University of California at Los Angeles said in a statement from NASA. "Even more amazing, its tail structures change dramatically in just 13 days as it belches out dust. That also caught us by surprise. It's hard to believe we're looking at an asteroid." [The Strangest Asteroids in the Solar System]

In the time between Hubble's first observation on Sept. 10 and its second peek at the asteroid on Sept. 23, the tails appeared to have completely swung around. Jewitt said he and his colleagues were "completely knocked out" by this finding.

This is an artist's diagram of the structure seen around an active asteroid designated P/2013 P5,which has sprouted six dust tails.Credit: NASA, ESA, and A. Feild (STScI)

This labeled view of asteroid P/2013 P5 shows clearly how its appearance changed in the course of just 13 days.

The tails seem to have formed in bursts and not all at once, which is why the researchers don't think they formed as the result of an impact with another asteroid.

Rather, P/2013 P5 could have sprouted dust tails after it started spinning out of control. The researchers suspect radiation pressure caused the asteroid to start rotating faster and faster until its weak gravity no longer could hold it together, sending the surface material of the space rock flying off at several points in the asteroid's recent history.

The researchers even pinpointed when they think these recent dust-ejection events may have occurred, in a series of spurts from April to September.

Though seeing a six-tailed space rock is a first for astronomers, the new research hints that there could be more asteroids with debris trails emanating from their center.

"In astronomy, where you find one, you eventually find a whole bunch more," Jewitt said in a statement. "This is just an amazing object to us, and almost certainly the first of many more to come."

P/2013 P5 has only lost a fraction of its mass, about 100 to 1,000 tons of dust, which represents a tiny portion of the 1,400-foot-wide (425 meters) asteroid, the scientists said.

While P/2013 P5 likely isn't a victim of a recent collision, researchers think the asteroid may be one of the leftover fragments of a much larger space rock that broke apart 200 million years ago. And the space rock likely doesn't contain any water, the scientists believe, based on previous examinations of collision fragments that were in orbits similar but have to P/2013 P5 have made it down to Earth's surface in the form of meteorites.

The Hubble Space Telescope is a joint project between NASA and the European Space Agency. The observations were detailed online in the Nov. 7 issue of the Astrophysical Journal Letters.

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  1. If the asteroid is rotating then why are the 'tails' not showing any signs of spiraling as the 'dust' moves away from the asteroid?

  2. If life exists on multiple dimensions, that from 3D we cannot see, and then we suddenly shift to a higher vibration, it makes sense that we would start to see new forms of life on this planet and in outerspace.

    As the planetary shift happens increasing our vibrations, it makes perfect sense of why we are now discovering new species and it even makes sense that other species are dying off or going extinct.

    If you compare the list of newly discovered species against the endangered species/recently extinct species, I bet you would find more life forms than before the planetary shift happened.

    It's a strange and wonderful world.

  3. What if its not an asteroid? -Bill

    This is a good point Bill.

    Perhaps it is being propelled for some reason like to ensure it does not crash into a planet with intelligent life. Or perhaps it is being purposely propelled for relocation because it contains mineral resources they want to take home to their planet and we are now seeing interspace shipping.

    As we have only been able to see/observe from 3D in the past, perhaps as we shift into a higher planetary vibration we are now seeing what has always been there. As the shift continues we are seeing many new species of insects, plants and animals being discovered, as well as many of the same dying off or disappearing into extinction. Perhaps the vibratory shift is making some lower vibrational species disappear from our view and some higher vibrational species become visible.

    It's an exciting time to be alive and embodied on Planet Earth!!!!

    Just my thoughts.......
    "Kindness is Power"


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