October 22, 2021

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

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

Posted:

October 7, 2021 00:48 GMT

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

A team of astronomers led by Henry H. Hsieh from the Planetary Institute in the United States, general On the Cornell University website, the results of the analysis of data collected on the observation of an unusual asteroid, identified as (248,370) 2005 QN137, whose signs of activity were discovered only in July of this year.

These results helped astronomers allocate this celestial body between Thousands of asteroids that make up the belt Between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. The scientists used data obtained from July to August 2021 by telescopes from four observatories, including Palomar and Haleakala.

Thus, they concluded that 2005 QN137 could be classified as a comet due to its characteristics, which include having a coma Or “hair”, a cloud of dust and gas enveloping the core, and a tail whose length in July 2021 is more than 720,000 km, while its width is estimated to be 1,400 km. The orbit of the asteroid is located outside the main belt, the width of its core is 3.2 kilometers.

An important feature is that The coma is mainly made up of dust And not for gas. In the 37 days of observation, the brightness of the coma decreased by 0.35 stellar degrees, while the brightness of the dust tail remained practically constant over the same period.

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