FW: Newscenter Update: Hubble Witnesses an Asteroid Mysteriously Dis

From: Andrew Johnson

Date: 2014-03-07 09:24:42

Attachments : Inbox Astronomy – Hubble Witnesses an Asteroid Mysteriously Disintegrating #ygrps-yiv-754783094 TD IMG { DISPLAY:block;} As this is sort of “standard news”, I don’t normally forward it to this list, but in this case, I thought it might be interesting to some readers, in view of the “Comets and Calamities” presentation that I posted a while ago (www.checktheevidence.co.uk/cms/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=383&Itemid=59)     hubblesite.org/newsc…   MARCH 6, 2014: Though fragile comet nuclei have been seen falling apart as they near the Sun, nothing like the slow breakup of an asteroid has ever before been observed in the asteroid belt. A series of Hubble Space Telescope images shows that the fragments are drifting away from each other at a leisurely one mile per hour. This makes it unlikely that the asteroid is disintegrating because of a collision with another asteroid. A plausible explanation is that the asteroid is crumbling due to a subtle effect of sunlight. This causes the rotation rate to slowly increase until centrifugal force pulls the asteroid apart. The asteroid’s remnant debris, weighing in at 200,000 tons, will in the future provide a rich source of meteoroids.See the rest: The Full Story See All the Images

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