Comet-like object possibly smashed asteroid?
By Irene Klotz | Reuters.com
Astronomers have found a comet-like object they believe was created by the collision of two asteroids, possible siblings of the rogue rock blamed for killing the dinosaurs millions of years ago.
The object, known as P/2010 A2, was circling about 90 million miles (144 million km) from Earth in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter when it was spotted last week by the Hubble Space Telescope.
"The truth is we're still struggling to understand what this means," lead scientist David Jewitt with the University of California at Los Angeles, told Reuters on Tuesday. "It's most likely the result of a recent collision between two asteroids."
If so, he said, "It'd be the first case we've seen of an asteroid smash happening, basically caught in the act."
The object resembles a comet, but its nucleus is severed from its tail, which "has a very strange appearance, the likes of which we've never seen before," Jewitt said.
Studies of the object -- and searches for similar ones -- would improve scientists' understanding of how asteroids break apart, information that may be useful to thwart a future asteroid strike on Earth.
"The thing that we want to understand is how the asteroids smash into each other and destroy each other," Jewett said. "It might help us understand even how to destroy an asteroid and prevent one from hitting us."
Scientists believe a giant comet or asteroid that hit Earth about 65 million years ago was linked to the extinction of the dinosaurs, possibly by throwing up dust or chemical clouds that blocked the sun or by igniting global wildfires.
Calculations show the orbit of P/2010 A2 is related to the group of asteroids, known at the Flora family, that produced that asteroid.
NASA is working to catalog at least 90 percent of the estimated 1,000 objects that approach Earth and are larger across than one kilometer, about two-thirds of a mile. The agency's proposed budget for the year beginning October 1 includes a $16 million annual increase to step up that effort.
Article from: Reuters.com
Thunder and Lightning a rare sight in Iceland - Weather Experimentation Connected with the Norway Aurora Light?
New Aurora Mystery: What is going on in the skies over Norway!?
Mysterious glowing aurora over Saturn confounds scientists
Maitreya steps forward! The Norway Spiral (Star Sign) Heralds "New Age Messiah"
Was Norway’s HAARP Facility EISCAT Responsible for the Norway Spiral?
What was that Blue Light Spiral in Norway?
Mystery as Spiral Blue Light Display Hovers Above Norway [ed. OP Bluebeam?]
What the Hell is Going on Up There?
NASA can't keep up with killer asteroids
Latest News from our Front Page
41% of Americans Support Criminalizing "Hate Speech"
The following are from a recent poll about what some are calling on for "hate speech"
1. Support for Hate Crimes Legislation
Do you support or oppose the federal law that requires increased penalties for hate crimes committed on the basis of the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, or gender of any person?
2. Support for Expanding Hate Crimes
FBI Admits No Major Cases Cracked with Patriot Act Snooping Powers
FBI agents canâ€™t point to any major terrorism cases theyâ€™ve cracked thanks to the key snooping powers in the Patriot Act, the Justice Departmentâ€™s inspector general said in a report Thursday that could complicate efforts to keep key parts of the law operating.
Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz said that between 2004 and 2009, the FBI tripled its use of bulk ...
Sweetener Stevia Was Once Hailed As An Anti-Fertility Agent for Population Reduction
Maybe it's not so sweet now... If you've thought stevia, the natural alternative to sugar and artificial sweetners with aspartame, et al., is too good to be true, there may be a catch. Check out this textbook written in 1970 by Paul and Anne Ehrlich, the precursor to the textbook Ecoscience they wrote with Obama Science Czar John P. Holdren ...
TPP Aproved: Senate Republicans Give Obama New Powers - Details Remain 'Classified'
President Obama won a big victory for his trade agenda Friday with the Senateâ€™s approval of fast-track legislation that could make it easier for him to complete a wide-ranging trade deal that would include 11 Pacific Rim nations.
A coalition of 48 Senate Republicans and 14 Democrats voted for Trade Promotion Authority late Friday, sending the legislation to a difficult fight ...
Circumcision battle: Mom seeks release from jail after federal lawsuit is dismissed
West Boynton mother on Wednesday gave up trying to get a federal judge to stop her 4 1/2-year-old son from being circumcised as his father wishes â€” a battle that also led to her arrest May 14 on a state court warrant.
An attorney for Heather Hironimus, who lost similar legal challenges in two state courts, notified U.S. District Judge Kenneth ...
|More News » |