Asteroid with six comet-like tails found

Editors' Picks

  • Wayne Rooney: I was fifth-choice penalty taker after Liverpool miss

    Wayne Rooney: I was fifth-choice penalty taker after Liverpool miss

    Wayne Rooney: I was fifth-choice penalty taker after Liverpool miss

    Wayne Rooney spoke to Gary Neville about Manchester United's title aspirations next season, being captain, and how the penalty-taking duties work under Louis van Gaal. …

  • Chelsea break 22-year-old Manchester United record of most days on top of the table

    Chelsea break 22-year-old Manchester United record of most days on top of the table

    Chelsea break 22-year-old Manchester United record of most days on top of the table

    Chelsea became champions after leading the league for most number of days, breaking Manchester United's 22-year-old record, setting a new Premier League record in the process. …

  • European roundup: Hamburg safe for now, Hull go down

    European roundup: Hamburg safe for now, Hull go down

    European roundup: Hamburg safe for now, Hull go down

    Hamburg SV avoided a first Bundesliga drop but must go through the torment again in a relegation playoff while Hull City were the fall guys in England. ENGLAND Hull City were relegated from the Premier League after two years in the top flight while Newcastle United survived the drop on a final day of drama as the season ended on Sunday. Hull went down because they were held to a 0-0 draw at home by Manchester United while Newcastle survived after beating West Ham United 2-0 with goals from …

  • Manchester United decide against signing Falcao

    Manchester United decide against signing Falcao

    Manchester United decide against signing Falcao

    Manchester United will not be signing Colombia forward Radamel Falcao on a permanent basis, the Premier League club said on Sunday after the final game of the season. The 29-year-old will return to parent club Monaco, at least initially, after four goals in 29 appearances was not deemed good enough for United to consider splashing out the reported 55 million euros ($60.5 million) fee to buy him. "Falcao is a top professional and a good human being. …

  • Hull go down, Newcastle survive on final day of drama

    Hull go down, Newcastle survive on final day of drama

    Hull go down, Newcastle survive on final day of drama

    Hull City were relegated and Newcastle United survived the drop on a dramatic final day of the Premier League season on Sunday while West Ham United announced that manager Sam Allardyce's contract was not being renewed at Upton Park. While the spotlight shone brightest at St James' Park, where Newcastle preserved their top flight status by beating West Ham United 2-0, the mood was a lot darker at KC Stadium where Hull drew 0-0 with Manchester United to finish in the bottom three. …

  • Cancer survivor Gutierrez stars as Newcastle beat drop

    Cancer survivor Gutierrez stars as Newcastle beat drop

    Cancer survivor Gutierrez stars as Newcastle beat drop

    As if staying in the Premier League was not emotional enough for Newcastle United, there was the added fairytale of cancer survivor Jonas Gutierrez scoring his first goal of the season. Gutierrez -- who was undergoing treatment for testicular cancer in the early months of the campaign and only returned to the squad in March -- netted the second goal in a 2-0 home win against West Ham United. Newcastle, whose residents are known as Geordies, would have stayed up anyway on the final day with …

Washington, Nov 8 (IANS) The US and German astronomers said Thursday that for the first time they have found an asteroid with six comet-like tails of dust in solar system's asteroid belt, located roughly between the orbits of the Mars and Jupiter planets.

Unlike all other known asteroids, which appear simply as tiny points of light in space telescope, this asteroid, designated P/ 2013 P5, resembles a rotating lawn sprinkler, reported Xinhua citing astronomers who are puzzled over the space rock's unusual appearance.

"We were literally dumbfounded when we saw it," lead investigator David Jewitt of the University of California at Los Angeles, said in a statement. "Even more amazing, its tail structures change dramatically in just 13 days as it belches out dust. That also caught us by surprise. It's hard to believe we're looking at an asteroid."

P/2013 P5 has been ejecting dust periodically for at least five months.

Astronomers said that it is possible that the asteroid's rotation rate increased to the point where its surface started flying apart and the tails are unlikely to be the result of an impact with another asteroid because they have not seen a large quantity of dust blasted into space all at once.