Asteroid Collision

It is possible (but not yet confirmed) that astronomers have observed a collision in the asteroid belt for the first time.

Mystery Object Behaves Both Like a Comet and Asteroid – []

Something awfully curious is happening 250 million miles away in the asteroid belt.

Astronomers think they may be witnessing a never-before-seen collision between two asteroids.

The puzzle centers on a newly discovered object that superficially looks like a comet but lives among the asteroids.

The strange object was discovered on January 6 by the Lincoln Near-Earth Asteroid Research (LINEAR) sky survey. The object appears to be in an orbit inside the main asteroid belt — not a place where comets usually dwell.

A Strange “Comet” Among the Asteroids – []

On January 14th, Javier Licandro and others used the Nordic Optical Telescope in the Canary Islands to get a better view, and they discovered something completely unexpected: a small asteroid lay 2 arcseconds to P/2010 A2’s east and was moving along with it. Moreover, the “comet” showed no central condensation and looked more like a narrow dust swarm about 110,000 miles (177,000 km) long.

IAU Minor Planet Center
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Comet may be colliding asteroids – []

An automatic sky camera called LINEAR in New Mexico snapped a newly discovered object there that looks fuzzy with a tail like a comet rather than a dot of light like a normal asteroid. It has been labelled P/2010 A2.

Skywatchers believe they are getting a unique ringside view of a hypervelocity collision that has thrown up a cloud of gas and dust. They say they can see large lumps of debris from the smashed asteroid in the tail, supporting the view that this is an impact.

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