Friday, February 05, 2010

Alien Lore No. 167 - The Tenth Planet On Its Way? Hubble Observes P/2010 A2 traveling at 11,000 miles per hour

Thanks to Jeff Clinton for referring this story.  It appeared on Gizmodo originally, but we used mostly the Hubble and NASA sites for info.  Photo reproduced courtesy of NASA, and You, the American Taxpayer.

The Hubble recently uncovered a weird X-shaped object traveling through space at around 11,000 mph. NASA says that P/2010-A2 is probably be a comet or the aftermath of a collision between two asteroids. [Editor's note, unless my math is wrong, they could be here in a year or so??]

This NASA Hubble Space Telescope photo below shows a comet-like P/2010 A2, which was first discovered by the LINEAR (Lincoln Near-Earth Asteroid Research program) sky survey on January 6.

The object appears so odd in ground-based telescopic images that NASA decided to book a little time on Hubble to take a closer look. This January 29 picture shows a "bizarre X-pattern of filamentary structures near the point-like nucleus of the object and trailing streamers of dust," according to NASA

The inset picture suggests the object is not a comet but instead the product of a head-on collision between two asteroids.  ASA says that astronomers have "long thought that the asteroid belt is being ground down through collisions, but such a smashup has never before been seen."

At the time of the Hubble observations, the object was approximately 180 million miles from the Sun and 90 million  from Earth.   The bottom line on P/2010 A2 is that no one who is supposed to know has any idea where it came from or where it's going.  Naturally, we at All This Is That believe that it is the fabled Tenth Planet, come home to join us, rescue us, or invade us.

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