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A group of researchers discovered that a well known asteroid experienced identity crisis. The Lincoln near Earth Asteroid Research (LINEAR) facility found this asteroid nearly ten years ago.
The asteroid that looks pretty similar to a comet move around the sun in the asteroid belt of solar system. Comets and asteroid are quite easy to distinguish since a comet consists of rock and ice. On the flip hand, asteroids are a mixture of carbon, silicon and some other compound.
Experts of Carnegie Institution for Science and drawf planet observed a really surprising tail on asteroid 62412. However, the tail compels the researchers Scott Sheppard and Chadwick Trujillo to recatogorize this ordinary asteroid as active asteroid. The experts evaluated it as the first asteroid of the Hygeia family that appears like a comet.
Active asteroids are usually located at the belt that separate Jupiter from Mars.
Unfortunately, astronomers failed to determine the reason behind the release of gas and dust and the formation of tails. Thus far, the group of researcher demonstrated numerous theories in order to describe this event.
Moreover, the researchers considered the asteroid as the 13th active main belt asteroid. Thus far, scientists discovered nearly 12 active asteroids; therefore this one is listed as number 13.
The two researchers presented the data at the American Astronomical Society’s Division of Planetary Sciences.