Comet-like object possibly smashed asteroid?
2010 02 03

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




Related Articles
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

Whistleblower: Margaret Thatcher knew all about underage sex ring
2014 07 29
Margaret Thatcher was told about alleged sex parties with under-age boys held by one of her closest aides claims her former personal bodyguard. Barry Strevens, who worked as the prime minister’s personal bodyguard, said that he passed on allegations about her confidant Sir Peter Morrison. The former senior police officer said that Lady Thatcher appointed Sir Peter deputy party chairman of the ...
The Absurd, Bureaucratic Hell That Is the American Police State
2014 07 29
“The greatest evil is not now done in those sordid ‘dens of crime’ that Dickens loved to paint. It is not done even in concentration camps and labour camps. In those we see its final result. But it is conceived and ordered (moved, seconded, carried, and minuted) in clean, carpeted, warmed and well-lighted offices, by quiet ...
Australian Government Pushing ‘Internet Tax’ To Pay For NSA Style Spying
2014 07 29
Forcing private companies to become mass surveillance hubs The Australian government is pushing to implement a ”surveillance tax” on the people of the country in order to pay for a mandate that would see communications companies retaining data on customers for two years. In a disturbing development that should serve as a warning to Americans, the Australian Attorney-General admitted that the surveillance ...
Japanese leader proposes first-ever ’Robot Olympics’
2014 07 29
Nations of the world will be sending their most talented athletes to Tokyo in 2020 for the Olympic Games – but if Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe gets his way, they might also be pitting robots against each other. Abe announced his vision while touring robotics factories in Tokyo and Saitama, which is located just north of the country’s capital. According ...
Israel Student Union Set Up “War Room” to Sell Gaza Massacre on Facebook
2014 07 29
This article was published on July 14, 2014. The death toll in Gaza as of today, July 23, 2014, reaches 678 according to Al-Akhbar. Students at the IDC Herzliya “war room,” seen here in a screenshot, focus on posting propaganda justifying Israel’s attack on Gaza on Facebook. As the death toll from Israel’s savage bombardment of Gaza continues to climb, Israel has ...
More News »