When people think about an asteroid cruising through space, they probably imagine the space rock floating around, being quite static. People don’t think of it as doing something more than maybe speeding until it hits something.
But the reality can be very different now, a brand new image that comes from NASA’s Hubble Telescope is showing that sometimes, asteroids can have self-destructive habits.
BGR just reported that there’s a snapshot that shows the asteroid known as 6478 Gault, which is caught in a permanent spin cycle.
The asteroid seems to be rotating so fast that it’s actually “shedding its own material as it speeds through space, slowly disintegrating and leaving a trail of debris in its wake,” as BGR puts it.
The asteroid measures 2.5 miles across
NASA also made sure to explain in a brand new blog post that the asteroid is quite large and it measures about 2.5 miles across.
It’s far from our planet so don’t freak out and imagine it will be hitting us.
The space rock seems to be sitting at about 214 million miles from our Sun, and it gradually comes apart while spinning so fast.
It was reported by the space agency that the asteroid is completing a full rotation at about every two hours and this is enough to fling its own material off into space.
The asteroid is basically slowly eroding itself, and this is a boom for scientists who are studying space rocks.
We didn’t have to go to Gault,” Olivier Hainaut of the European Southern Observatory in Germany said in a statement.
He continued and explained that “We just had to look at the image of the streamers, and we can see all of the dust grains well-sorted by size. All the large grains (about the size of sand particles) are close to the object, and the smallest grains (about the size of flour grains) are the farthest away because they are being pushed fastest by pressure from sunlight.”
I have been blogging and posting articles for over eight years, but my passion for writing dates back in 2000. I am especially enthusiastic about technology, science, and health-related issues. When I’m not researching and writing the latest news, I’m either watching sci-fi and horror movies or checking out places worth visiting and building deep memories for later in life. I believe in empathy and continually improving myself.