Paranormal Psychic Forums

Psychic paranormal community Forums for like minded individuals who wish to connect, chat and share.

Comet or Asteroid? Hubble Discovers that a Unique Object is a Binary

Bringing some of the mysteries of the universe a little closer to home.

User avatar
Owlscrying
Posts: 1831
Joined: Mon Apr 03, 2017 3:21 am

Unread post Wed Sep 20, 2017 8:36 pm

NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope helped an international team of astronomers find that an unusual object in the asteroid belt is, in fact, two asteroids orbiting each other that have comet-like features. These include a bright halo of material, called a coma, and a long tail of dust.

Hubble was used to image the asteroid, designated 300163 (2006 VW139), in September 2016 just before the asteroid made its closest approach to the Sun. Hubble’s crisp images revealed that it was actually not one, but two asteroids of almost the same mass and size, orbiting each other at a distance of 60 miles.

Asteroid 300163 (2006 VW139) was discovered by Spacewatch in November 2006 and then the possible cometary activity was seen in November 2011 by Pan-STARRS. Both Spacewatch and Pan-STARRS are asteroid survey projects of NASA’s Near Earth Object Observations Program. After the Pan-STARRS observations it was also given a comet designation of 288P. This makes the object the first known binary asteroid that is also classified as a main-belt comet.

Source

 
Image

User avatar
Owlscrying
Posts: 1831
Joined: Mon Apr 03, 2017 3:21 am

Unread post Wed Sep 20, 2017 8:38 pm

Image
Credits: NASA, ESA, and J. DePasquale and Z. Levay (STScI)

This time-lapse video, assembled from a set of Hubble Space Telescope photos, reveals two asteroids orbiting each other that have comet-like features. The asteroid pair, called 2006 VW139/288P, was observed in September 2016, just before the asteroid made its closest approach to the Sun. The photos revealed ongoing activity in the binary system. The apparent movement of the tail is a projection effect due to the relative alignment between the Sun, Earth, and 2006 VW139/288P changing between observations. The tail orientation is also affected by a change in the particle size. Initially, the tail was pointing towards the direction where comparatively large (about 1 millimeter in size) dust particles were emitted in late July. However, from Sept. 20 on, the tail began to point in the opposite direction from the Sun as the pressure of sunlight affects smaller (10 microns in size) dust particles where they are blown away from the nucleus by radiation pressure.

Source / Image Courtesy

 
Image

User avatar
Owlscrying
Posts: 1831
Joined: Mon Apr 03, 2017 3:21 am

Unread post Wed Sep 20, 2017 8:40 pm

Image
Credits: NASA, ESA, and J. Agarwal (Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research)

Hubble photographed a pair of asteroids orbiting each other that have a tail of dust, which is a comet-like feature. The odd object, called 2006 VW139/288P, is the first known binary asteroid that is also classified as a main-belt comet. Roughly 5,000 years ago, 2006 VW139/288P probably broke into two pieces due to a fast rotation

Source / Image Courtesy

 
Image

User avatar
Owlscrying
Posts: 1831
Joined: Mon Apr 03, 2017 3:21 am

Unread post Wed Sep 20, 2017 8:44 pm



This is a view of the solar system showing the locations of all the asteroids starting in 1980, as asteroids are discovered they are added to the map and highlighted white so you can pick out the new ones.
The final colour of an asteroids indicates how closely it comes to the inner solar system.
Earth Crossers are Red
Earth Approachers (Perihelion less than 1.3AU) are Yellow
All Others are Green

Notice now the pattern of discovery follows the Earth around its orbit, most discoveries are made in the region directly opposite the Sun. You'll also notice some clusters of discoveries on the line between Earth and Jupiter, these are the result of surveys looking for Jovian moons. Similar clusters of discoveries can be tied to the other outer planets, but those are not visible in this video.

As the video moves into the mid 1990's we see much higher discovery rates as automated sky scanning systems come online. Most of the surveys are imaging the sky directly opposite the sun and you'll see a region of high discovery rates aligned in this manner.

At the beginning of 2010 a new discovery pattern becomes evident, with discovery zones in a line perpendicular to the Sun-Earth vector. These new observations are the result of the WISE (Widefield Infrared Survey Explorer) which is a space mission that's tasked with imaging the entire sky in infrared wavelengths.

The scale of the video at 1080P resolution is roughly 1million kilometers per pixel, and each second of video corresponds to 60 days.

Currently we have observed over half a million minor planets, and the discovery rates show no sign that we're running out of undiscovered objects, scientific estimates suggest that there are about a billion asteroids larger than 100metres (about the size of a football field) .

 
Image

Post Reply

Return to “The Universe”

  • Information
  • Who is online

    Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests