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  • November 12, 2013

    Hubble Hangout: What's With That Six-Tailed, Comet-Like Asteroid?

    by Tracy Vogel

    Did you enjoy our post on strange, comet-like objects? Find out more at at 4 p.m. EDT this Thursday, Nov. 12, at our Hubble Hangout. We tackle the recent Hubble observations of a weird, six-tailed asteroid. Bring your questions and get your answers from the experts.

    Here's the summary.

    On November 7th, the Space Telescope Science Institute released observations of an asteroid, designated P/2013 P5 that showed six comet-like tails of dust radiating from it like spokes on a wheel.

    These results were extremely surprising and astronomers found it hard to believe they were looking at an asteroid.

    Please join us as we discuss this discovery with Dr. David Jewitt from UCLA, the team lead of the researchers who made the #Hubble observations, along with Max Mutchler,  Tony Darnell, Alberto Conti, Ian O'Neill, and Scott Lewis.

    In addition to your questions and comments, we'll discuss topics like:

    * How and when was this asteroid first discovered?

    * Does it pose a thread to Earth?

    * What are these tails made of?

    * How common are these jets in asteroids?

    * How large is this asteroid?

    * How does it compare to a comet in composition and density?

    And anything else we can think of! Please RSVP to let us know you're attending, and we'll look forward to seeing you there!