Nearly 214 million miles (344 million km) of sunshine, asteroid makes its best impression as a comed. Astronomers at the University of Hawaii have discovered asteroid that turns our pieces, producing two tail debris tail in the process.
First discovered in 1988, the first signs that the asteroid was self-destroying on January 5. Using NASA's Space Hubble Telescope, along with a variety of earth instruments in Hawaii, Spain, and India, astronomers discovered two tails of debris dragging a Strip in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.
“This destruction event is rare,” said Olivier Hainaut, of the Southern European Observatory in Garching, Germany, and co-author of the report. “Energetic and unstable asteroids such as Gault are now detected because of new survey telescopes that scan the whole sky, which means that asteroids that misbehave like Gault cannot escape from detection. no longer. ”
The comments are the first pieces of evidence of Gault's misconduct and suggest that asteroids are dynamic and eventually they can break down due to the subtle long-term effect of light sun, which can slowly spin they started throwing material. In the case of Gault, the asteroid rotates quickly every two hours, so fast that Gault throws material off his face and into the space.
“Gault is the best ygu smoking example of a very fast rotator on the two hour limit,” says Jan Kleyna University of Hawaii. “It could have been about instability for 10 million years. Even a small disturbance, such as a small stone effect, could have triggered the recent explosions. ”
Hubble revealed that the tails were narrow streams, showing that the dust had been released in short bursts, continuing in a few hours to a few days. These sudden events threw enough debris to make a “dirt ball” about 500 feet (150 meters) across if compressed. One tail was found to be approximately 500,000 miles (800,000 km) long, 3,000 miles (4,800 km) wide. The smaller tail spans about 125,000 (200,000 km) long.
Asteroid viewing that becomes colorless as Gault gives astronomers the opportunity to study the composition of asteroids without sending a spacecraft for samples. Analysis of asteroid ingredients as they are spread to space can offer astronomers an insight into the formation of the planet in the early system.
“We didn't have to visit Gault,” explained Hainaut. “We had to look at the image of the streams, and we can see all the dust particles have been sorted neatly by size. All the large particles (about sand particle size) are close to the object and the smallest grain (for how much flour) is the furthest away, because they are pushed fastest by pressure from sunlight. ”