Asteroid-like comet P/2010 A2 What is it?
Thursday, February 4, 2010
UFO has left scientists puzzled, it is NOT a comet streaking through space. It was first spotted early January 2010 so astronomers turned the Hubble telescope on it to get these close up images.
The object - named P/2010 A2 - is of a type never before seen by Stargazers and satellite orbits in a belt between Mars and Jupiter. Despite its tail they have ruled out it being a comet, as there is no gas in its trail.
Explanation: What is this strange object? First discovered on ground based images LINEAR on January 6, the object (now named P/2010 A2) appeared unusual enough to investigate further with the Hubble Space Telescope last week. What Hubble saw P/2010 A2 indicates that object is unlike any ever seen before. At first glance, the object appears to have the tail of a comet.
Close inspection, however, shows a 140 meter offset from the nucleus center tail, very unusual structure near the nucleus, and no discernable in the tail gas. Knowing that the object orbits in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, a preliminary hypothesis that appears to explain all of the clues is known that P/2010 A2 is the debris left over from a recent collision between two small asteroids.
If true, the likely collision occurred at about 15.000 kilometers per hour - five times the speed of a rifle bullet - and energy liberated in excess of a nuclear bomb. Pressure from sunlight would then spread out the debris into a trailing tail. Future study of P/2010 A2 may better indicate the nature of the progenitor collision and may help humanity better understand the early years of our Solar System, when many similar collisions occurred.