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New asteroid discovered with six comet-like tails

Posted on Nov 8, 2013 in News


NASA Hubble Space Telescope images of asteroid P/2013 P5 and its set of six comet-like tails. Image Credit: NASA, ESA, and David Jewitt/UCLA

Asteroids do not typically sport the long tails found coming from comets.  Yet observations of newly-discovered asteroid P/2013 P5 show the object has not only one, but six dusty tails streaming outward from the central body.  In a paper published on November 7, 2013, UCLA Professor David Jewitt suggests these uncharacteristic plumes could be made of dust that was ejected from the surface of the rapidly spinning asteroid.  Read more about this discovery at the LA Times and the UCLA Newsroom.