Recently, astronomers have found a new asteroid in the main asteroid belt of the solar system, which has comet-like tail – a surprising discovery that researchers were not expecting.
As per the Business Standard, the assigned 62412 — asteroid would be the first ever comet-like body discovered in the Hygiea family. The asteroid belt lies between Mars and Jupiter.
Though researchers had been aware of the asteroid for some time, they think it is only a standard asteroid, until they observed a tail at the end of it. This signifies it’s what is known an “active” asteroid. It’s the 13th discovered in the primary asteroid belt. It escorts scientists to think that there are around 100 asteroids present in the belt.
However, the researchers are still unaware of the fact that why asteroids loose material and create a tail, but they think that latest impacts or the transformation of bare ice from solid to gas may help elucidate it.
Researchers accustomed to think that asteroids were constant, however, with enhanced technology come advanced techniques of examining them, permitting for the finding of tails along with a thin “atmosphere” round the comet referred to as a coma.
The scientists reveal that the recently discovered active asteroid has an extremely fast rotation, with material shifting on its surface and creating its tail to really make it seem like a comet. But, they won’t determine if the tail comes from material tossed from the primary rock, or from ice being converted into vapor.
Certainly, the solar system’s asteroid belt is stuffed with sporadically formed rocks from the development of the universe, contributing to 1 / 2 of its mass originates from the 4 biggest asteroids, Hygiea, Pallas, Veres, and Vesta. Ceres, the biggest of the four, is recognized as a dwarf planet because of its size (590 miles diameter).
The comet-like asteroid was discovered near Hygiea, the 4th biggest asteroid. It’s believed to become in between 350 and 500 kilometers (the main difference is because of its rhombus shape) and contains 2.9 % of the belt’s mass. It features a dark surface that causes it to be hard to be seen from Earth. Due to that, it was not discovered until 1849.