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News Release Archive:

News Release 48 of 958

November 7, 2013 11:00 AM (EST)

News Release Number: STScI-2013-52

NASA's Hubble Sees Asteroid Spout Six Comet-like Tails

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Image: Active Asteroid P/2013 P5 (Artist's Schematic)

Active Asteroid P/2013 P5 (Artist's Schematic)

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ABOUT THIS IMAGE:

This is a diagram of the structure seen around an active asteroid designated P/2013 P5. The Hubble Space Telescope photographed six finger-like dust tails in September 2013. One interpretation is that the asteroid's rotation rate has been increased to the point where dust is falling off the surface along the equator and escaping into space. The pressure of sunlight then sweeps the dust into long tails.

Image Type: Illustration

Credit: NASA, ESA, and A. Feild (STScI)

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