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Message 1440043 - Posted: 7 Nov 2013, 23:36:05 UTC - in response to Message 1439112.  

NASA's Hubble Sees Asteroid Spouting Six Comet-Like Tails

Astronomers viewing our solar system's asteroid belt with NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have seen for the first time an asteroid with six comet-like tails of dust radiating from it like spokes on a wheel.



http://www.nasa.gov/press/2013/november/nasas-hubble-sees-asteroid-spouting-six-comet-like-tails/index.html#.UnwioyfTDSc
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Message 1440192 - Posted: 8 Nov 2013, 12:22:52 UTC

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Message 1440450 - Posted: 8 Nov 2013, 22:59:01 UTC

Fingers crossed or orbit@home's resurrection.

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Message 1440464 - Posted: 8 Nov 2013, 23:59:41 UTC - in response to Message 1440450.  

Fingers crossed or orbit@home's resurrection.

Indeed, could be anytime now :)
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Message 1440474 - Posted: 9 Nov 2013, 0:48:15 UTC - in response to Message 1440464.  

Thanks, for the update, ZP.

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Message 1440565 - Posted: 9 Nov 2013, 8:27:15 UTC

There are some who still think the Asteroid belt and asteroids are the remains of an early planet that blew up.
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Message 1440592 - Posted: 9 Nov 2013, 11:20:52 UTC - in response to Message 1440565.  

Inter Martem et Jovem planetam interposui (Kepler?)
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Message 1440629 - Posted: 9 Nov 2013, 16:10:33 UTC - in response to Message 1440565.  

There are some who still think the Asteroid belt and asteroids are the remains of an early planet that blew up.
Not at all likely. What force is there that could cause a planet to explode and scatter the remnants so widely? The Moon is thought to have been created by the Earth's collision with another planet-sized body. Even this didn't produce a lasting debris belt around our planet. The fragments were quickly consolidated into the Moon, and Earth.
The asteroid belt has different sorts of of objects with different mineral compositions, each concentrated in a different concentric zone around the Sun. What sort of explosion could have sorted them out in such an orderly manner?
Ceres, though small, is a spherical planet in its own rite, apparently with a differentiated internal structure. It does not appear at all to be a fragment left over from a planet-destroying explosion.
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Message 1441567 - Posted: 12 Nov 2013, 14:31:49 UTC - in response to Message 1440464.  

Fingers crossed or orbit@home's resurrection.

Indeed, could be anytime now :)



That's some good news, thanx Zappy:)
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Message 1441593 - Posted: 12 Nov 2013, 15:36:47 UTC

The asteroid belt has different sorts of of objects with different mineral compositions, each concentrated in a different concentric zone around the Sun. What sort of explosion could have sorted them out in such an orderly manner?

That could explain why the Americans want to go there rather than setting up a permanent moon base.

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Message 1441827 - Posted: 13 Nov 2013, 4:23:41 UTC

I read somewhere that all of the material in the asteroid belt together wouldn't amount to enough to make even a small planet.

And I still think that the asteroid mission concept was a red herring thrown out by the current President to divert attention from the cancellation of all projects that were under way to something he knew couldn't be built during his tenure in office and effectively killing the USA's manned space program.
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Message 1441854 - Posted: 13 Nov 2013, 6:07:44 UTC
Last modified: 13 Nov 2013, 6:13:26 UTC

Ceres is a small planet and Vesta was mapped by the Dawn spacecraft now heading to Ceres with its ion propulsion system. It should arrive in 2015.
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Message 1441917 - Posted: 13 Nov 2013, 12:33:02 UTC - in response to Message 1441827.  

... And I still think that the asteroid mission concept was a red herring thrown out by the current President to divert attention from the cancellation of all projects that were under way to something he knew couldn't be built during his tenure in office and effectively killing the USA's manned space program.

And I really can't understand how a large swathe of the USA and politicians are so very anti-technology and anti-science as to deliberately sabotage and undermine scientific progress.

Is there really such a strong pre-biblical death-wish for some earlier 'utopia' and the reality of today be damned?!


Sadly, the ISS is more a triumph of politics rather than science and engineering!! Meanwhile, we still have a very long wait before there are any new explorations beyond Mars...

Keep searchin',
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Message 1441920 - Posted: 13 Nov 2013, 12:47:06 UTC

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Message 1441924 - Posted: 13 Nov 2013, 13:08:48 UTC - in response to Message 1441917.  

... And I still think that the asteroid mission concept was a red herring thrown out by the current President to divert attention from the cancellation of all projects that were under way to something he knew couldn't be built during his tenure in office and effectively killing the USA's manned space program.

And I really can't understand how a large swathe of the USA and politicians are so very anti-technology and anti-science as to deliberately sabotage and undermine scientific progress.

Is there really such a strong pre-biblical death-wish for some earlier 'utopia' and the reality of today be damned?!


Sadly, the ISS is more a triumph of politics rather than science and engineering!! Meanwhile, we still have a very long wait before there are any new explorations beyond Mars...

Keep searchin',
Martin

It is a sad situation, but I take it you don't disagree with my analysis.
Bob DeWoody

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Message 1441940 - Posted: 13 Nov 2013, 14:01:28 UTC
Last modified: 13 Nov 2013, 14:02:41 UTC

NASA is preparing to launch the James Webb Telescope, successor of the Hubble telescope, and has many scientific missions in preparation, such as Maven to be launched soon. I don't believe that the renounce to human missions to the Moon is the result of an anti science movement. Apollo was more a political enterprise than a scientific enterprise and Neil Armstrong said it ended the cold war. Now we must turn our attention to planet Earth, to avoid disaster such as Katrina, Sandys and Haiyan/Yolanda. The Filipino delegate at the Varsaw UN Conference on climate changes, just started, said "Stop this folly". He was referring to the consequences of global warming.
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Message 1442745 - Posted: 15 Nov 2013, 18:27:03 UTC
Last modified: 15 Nov 2013, 18:27:29 UTC

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Message 1442846 - Posted: 15 Nov 2013, 22:05:03 UTC

This mysterious object with 6 comet-like tails has several improbable features, it seems. Out of thousands of known asteroids, only about 10 are 'active asteroids', as this one has been labeled. All the others either contain traces of ice that occasionally sublime to form hazy surrounds (comas) or tails, or both, or are the result of collisions with other space objects, which have thrown out dust and/or vapor. Both of these scenarios have been ruled out in the present case of P/2013 P5.
The scientists theorize that this object has had its rotation spun up by the pressure of the Solar wind, and the re-radiation of solar heat. It has supposedly gotten to the point that it is just beginning to fling off its surface by centrifugal force. That would require a rotation period of about 2.3 to 2.2 hours, or less. They tried, with the Hubble Space Telescope, to measure periodic brightness variations in the object, which should give an indication of its rotation rate. No such variations were found.
The scientists suggest that the object may have just happened to have its axis of rotation pointed directly at Earth, eliminating any change in its aspect, from our point of view. Alternately, they suggest that the rotation period may be substantially longer than the length of the observation sessions (about 40 minutes at most). This would reduce any variation in brightness, but possibly not to the extent that they couldn't be observed.
Besides the Sept. 10th and 23rd observations mentioned, there was another on Oct. 18th, and yet another during the current week, Nov. 11th - 15th. Future observations with the HST are planned for sometime between Dec. 7th and 13, Dec. 31 - Jan 1, and Feb. 10th through the 14th.
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Message 1443010 - Posted: 16 Nov 2013, 13:18:59 UTC

The asteroid belt has different sorts of of objects with different mineral compositions, each concentrated in a different concentric zone around the Sun. What sort of explosion could have sorted them out in such an orderly manner?

Some say Saturn's rings are the result of moons disintegrating....

The ring particles are made almost entirely of water ice, with a trace component of rocky material. There is still no consensus as to their mechanism of formation; some features of the rings suggest a relatively recent origin, but theoretical models indicate they are likely to have formed early in the Solar System's history.
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Message 1443117 - Posted: 16 Nov 2013, 17:35:23 UTC
Last modified: 16 Nov 2013, 18:19:01 UTC

Suppose that P/2013 P5 just happened to be pointing its axis of rotation directly at us in September, obscuring its period of rotation. This should no longer be the case with the newer observations, especially the latter one.
We should soon, one hopes, be hearing at least tentative figures for the object's spin rate. This will be crucial to the leading hypothesis for P/ 2013 P5's behavior, centrifugal disruption. A rapid spin rate will strongly support this hypothesis. A relatively slow rate of rotation will as thoroughly refute it.
Failure to find a basis for centrifugal disruption will make it very difficult, if not impossible to explain tis object's behavior in accord with our astrophysical knowledge.
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Message boards : Science (non-SETI) : Asteroids & Comets


 
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