Astronomers have discovered a new comet: it is hidden in the main asteroid belt

Astrónomos encuentran un nuevo cometa: estaba escondido en el cinturón principal de asteroides

Published:

7 October 2021 00:48 GMT

Classified as an asteroid-planet, it is located between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter.

A team of astronomers led by Henry H. H. of the Planetary Institute of America, General The results of the analysis of data collected during the observation of the abnormal asteroid identified as 2005 QN137 on the Cornell University website (248370) in 2005 only showed signs of activity in July.

Such results helped astronomers to customize that celestial body Thousands of asteroids It forms a belt Between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. Scientists used data obtained through telescopes from four laboratories, including Palomer and Hallegala, from July to August 2021.

Therefore, they concluded that 2005 QN137 could be classified as a comet because of its properties Being in a coma Or ‘hair’, a cloud of dust and gas covering the nucleus, and a tail length of more than 720,000 kilometers in July 2021, while its width was estimated at 1,400 kilometers. The orbit of the asteroid is outside the main belt, and its center is 3.2 km wide.

An important aspect is what The coma was mainly caused by dust And not for gas. At 37 days of observation, the brightness of the coma decreased by 0.35 star, while the dust tail remained practically unchanged over the same period.

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