Rare blue asteroid responsible for Geminid meteor shower reveals itself during fly-by

October 24, 2018, University of Arizona
An artist's impression of the asteroid 3200 Phaethon. Credit: Teddy Kareta

Blue asteroids are rare, and blue comets are almost unheard of. An international team led by Teddy Kareta, a graduate student at the University of Arizona's Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, investigated (3200) Phaethon, a bizarre asteroid that sometimes behaves like a comet, and found it even more enigmatic than previously thought.

The research team's results will be presented during a press conference on Oct. 23 at the 50th annual meeting of the American Astronomical Society's Division for Planetary Sciences in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Using telescopes in Hawaii and Arizona, the team studied sunlight reflected off Phaethon, which is known to be blue in color. Blue asteroids, which reflect more light in the blue part of the spectrum, make up only a fraction of all known asteroids. A majority of asteroids are dull grey to red, depending on the type of material on their surface.

Phaethon sets itself apart for two reasons: it appears to be one of the "bluest" of similarly colored asteroids or comets in the solar system; and its takes it so close to the Sun that its surface heats up to about 800 degrees Celsius (1,500 degrees Fahrenheit), hot enough to melt aluminum.

Astronomers have been intrigued by Phaethon for other reasons, too. It has the qualities of both an asteroid and a based on its appearance and behavior.

Phaethon always appears as a dot in the sky, like thousands of other asteroids, and not as a fuzzy blob with a tail, like a comet. But Phaethon is the source of the annual Geminid meteor shower, easily seen in early to mid-December.

Meteor showers occur when Earth passes through the trail of dust left behind on a comet's orbit. When they occur and where they appear to originate from depends on how the comet's orbit is oriented with respect to the Earth. Phaethon is thought to be the "parent body" of the Geminid meteor shower because its orbit is very similar to the orbit of the Geminid meteors.

Until Phaeton was discovered in 1983, scientists linked all known to active comets and not asteroids.

"At the time, the assumption was that Phaethon probably was a dead, burnt-out comet," said Kareta, "but comets are typically red in color, and not blue. So, even though Phaeton's highly eccentric orbit should scream 'dead comet,' it's hard to say whether Phaethon is more like an asteroid or more like a dead comet."

Phaethon also releases a tiny dust tail when it gets closest to the Sun in a process that is thought to be similar to a dry riverbed cracking in the afternoon heat. This kind of activity has only been seen on two objects in the entire solar system—Phaeton and one other, similar object that appears to blur the line traditionally thought to set comets and asteroids apart.

The team obtained several new insights about Phaethon after analyzing data obtained from NASA's Infrared Telescope Facility on Mauna Kea in Hawaii and the Tillinghast telescope, operated by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory on Mount Hopkins in Arizona. They think Phaethon might be related or have broken off from (2) Pallas, a large blue asteroid farther out in the solar system.

"Interestingly, we found Phaethon to be even darker than had been previously observed, about half as reflective as Pallas," Kareta said. "This makes it more difficult to say how Phaethon and Pallas are related."

The team also observed that Phaethon's blue color is the same on all parts of its surface, which indicates it has been cooked evenly by the Sun in the recent past.

The team is now conducting observations of 2005 UD, another small blue astronomers think is related to Phaethon, to see if they share the same rare properties. This and follow-up work will help to untangle the mystery of what Phaethon is really like.

Explore further: New mystery discovered regarding active asteroid Phaethon

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Kalopin
1 / 5 (1) Oct 27, 2018
...how would an asteroid leave a trail of debris?..
...and what about the close passing of sungrazer comet c/181f1?..
...which had appeared fifty percent larger than the Sun, in October 1811, the largest object ever witnessed in space?..

...passed in front of this planet in early December 1811, [...barely missing, if the entire comet had impacted, then this would not be here!..] leaving its debris trail, causing a serial impact, with one meteor large enough to restructure the entire Mississippi valley, sending a wave up the river to free up the Ohio, allowing for the first steamboat to traverse the Mississippi river...

...same impact also cast a tsunami across the Caribbean, killing many thousands in Caracas, Venezuela, at this very same moment, that's in "Travels to the equinoctial regions of America", Chapter 14, has evidence to show the passing of this comet caused a mini-ice age from 1811-1817...

...none of which in textbooks!..
koolkreations.wix.com/kalopins-legacy
jonesdave
3 / 5 (2) Oct 27, 2018
...none of which in textbooks!..


For very good reason!
Kalopin
not rated yet Oct 27, 2018
...none of which in textbooks!..


For very good reason!


...yes!, it's called collective alethophobia!.. ;-]]]]]]]
jonesdave
3 / 5 (2) Oct 27, 2018
...none of which in textbooks!..


For very good reason!


...yes!, it's called collective alethophobia!.. ;-]]]]]]]


No, it is to do with not printing unscientific crap. The comet was 30 - 40 km in diameter. About the same as Hale-Bopp. And it had nothing to do with the New Madrid earthquakes, and no significant part of it impacted Earth. Maybe some dust, that is all. That is why your stupid lies are not in text books. You just made that sh!t up, you clown.
Kalopin
not rated yet Oct 27, 2018
"individuals entitled to belief, scientist obligated to determine percentage possibility"] need you to go through every detail, study it meticulously, see "An extraterrestrial origin for the upland formation of the Mississippi embayment", will have crater's coordinates, satellite views, historical accounts, impactites [rocks] artifacts, and more info, as...
...
...there is not one single piece of evidence to argue for the NMSZ, there is, however, overwhelming evidence for a meteor impact to wipe out many thousands, instantly, the reason the churchbells did ring throughout the colonies, [not a myth!] and any seismograph would have been off the charts....the passing off this sungrazer caused mass casualties and worldwide destruction, dropping temps from -3*F [already Daulton GSM] to -27*F freezing Napoleon's army...
...changing science and history, beginning a new age of the Anthropocene...
...yet to find recognition?..
Kalopin
not rated yet Oct 27, 2018
"...comet was 30 - 40 km in diameter...."?!. -and all these measurements were given at later dates, none of them are accurate, there is only the observations, and they came from all over the globe, that this comet appeared "50% larger than the Sun"! in Oct, this is not a measurement...
...do you believe an object that appeared 50% larger than the Sun could be at a distance of 1.1AU?, really?, it would have been larger than the Sun and would have disrupted the entire solar system...

...guess you have to imagine what these people were witnessing, the general public at the time had put full blame on the comet, as they should have, but superstition of the primitive "science" at the time could not believe it came from the sky, you see?, it must have come up from the ground, right?..
...but now we understand more the effects from incoming projectiles, and can study from satellite each line in the topography, showing the stratigraphy centers where impactites were found...
jonesdave
3.7 / 5 (3) Oct 27, 2018
.do you believe an object that appeared 50% larger than the Sun could be at a distance of 1.1AU?, really?, it would have been larger than the Sun and would have disrupted the entire solar system...


Jesus what an idiot! The tail appeared 1.5 times the diameter of the Sun, you bloody clown! Hale-Bopp's tail stretched ~ 45 deg! Nothing happened, you burke. Where do people get crap like this from?

Kalopin
1 / 5 (1) Oct 28, 2018
.do you believe an object that appeared 50% larger than the Sun could be at a distance of 1.1AU?, really?, it would have been larger than the Sun and would have disrupted the entire solar system...


Jesus what an idiot! The tail appeared 1.5 times the diameter of the Sun, you bloody clown! Hale-Bopp's tail stretched ~ 45 deg! Nothing happened, you burke. Where do people get crap like this from?


...bs propaganda, study all the disasters, all the earthquakes, eruptions, strange weather, wars, plagues, famine, climatological disruption, environmental downturn...
...it was not the tail, as Herschel observed the tail becoming much shorter in early November, because the comet was coming toward him...
...quote- "...On December 2, Herschel noted the tail was "hardly 5 degrees long and of a very feeble light...."?!.
...oopsie, try again?, see- http://cometograp...1f1.html

...why won't anyone go through all the evidence first?, it's always this way...
Kalopin
1 / 5 (1) Oct 28, 2018
"...The Great Comet of 1811 was thought to have had an exceptionally large coma, perhaps reaching over 1 million miles across—fifty percent larger than the Sun..."
...
...it was the coma- "...nebulous envelope around the nucleus of a comet, formed when the comet passes close to the Sun on its highly elliptical orbit; as the comet warms, parts of it sublime. This gives a comet a "fuzzy" appearance when viewed in telescopes and distinguishes it from stars..."
https://en.wikipe...nham53-3
...another indication it was a sungrazer, and this observation came from several continents, northern and southern hemisphere...
"...larger than the Sun!.."
Kalopin
1 / 5 (1) Oct 28, 2018
"...Those who were able to continue would retain the haunting memories of suffering masses during this march to Smolensk. Of the 96,000 who left Maloyaroslavets, nine days later only 50,000 would enter the city. The temperature had dropped to 28 degrees below zero. The barrels of the muskets were so cold that they stuck to the hands of those carrying them. Only those who witnessed the events are able to accurately describe the horrors of those nine days. Sir Robert Wilson witnessed, "The naked masses of dead and dying men; the mangled carcasses of 10,000 horses which had in some cases been cut for food before life had ceased; the craving of famine at other points, of forming groups of cannibals; the air enveloped in flame and smoke; the prayers of hundreds of naked wretches flying from peasantry, whose shouts of vengeance echoed incessantly through the woods..."
https://www.milit...ude.aspx
...sungrazer, Doppler effect.. ;-]
jonesdave
4 / 5 (4) Oct 28, 2018
Christ, why are there so many fruitloops attracted to this site?
Kalopin
1 / 5 (1) Oct 28, 2018
Christ, why are there so many fruitloops attracted to this site?


Ad hominem

"...Ad hominem, short for argumentum ad hominem, is a fallacious argumentative strategy whereby genuine discussion of the topic at hand is avoided by instead attacking the character, motive, or other attribute of the person making the argument, or persons associated with the argument, rather than attacking the substance of the argument itself. The terms ad mulierem and ad feminam have been used specifically when the person receiving the criticism is female..."
;-]]]]]]]
...hey, religious fanatic, let me know when you want to discuss the science!!! LMAO!!! ;-]]]]]]]
Kalopin
1 / 5 (1) Oct 28, 2018
.....ya know, what's really sad, is that this system has just traveled through a major #shockdynamics mass accretion event, from the collision of two neutron stars in the vicinity, and the shockwaves are finally dissipating, as we travel through the main body of debris...

...this is #impactphysics and it's being misunderstood, if you can pick it up on interferometers and put it in the view of so many telescopes, then it wasn't that long ago or that far away, and if the first gravitational wave was felt so strongly, and then Mars was hit hard on Sept 11, 2017, covering the planet in aroura and more than doubling ground level radiation for a couple/few days, when there was absolutely no activity coming from the Sun. then it would stand to reason that this pressure wave was emanating out from this #kilonova ?..
...
...and the passing of comets produces the Doppler effect, sending waves, just as a wake from a boat, and have caused many disasters unattributed, just as Elenin in 2011...
Kalopin
1 / 5 (1) Oct 28, 2018
"...The comet began breaking up after getting hammered by a powerful solar storm in August, and a close pass by the sun on Sept. 10 apparently finished Elenin off, scientists say. So what cruised by Earth over the weekend was likely a stream of debris, not an intact comet..." https://www.space...yby.html

Apocalyptic scenes unfolded in Japan yesterday – as a blazing 'meteor' was filmed burning its way across the sky, just after a huge earthquake and tsunami struck.

Read more: https://metro.co....=cbshare
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MetroUK | Facebook: https://www.faceb...MetroUK/

...as the comet had already sent the Doppler effect, pressure waves of charged particles and debris...
jonesdave
3 / 5 (2) Oct 28, 2018
ya know, what's really sad, is that this system has just traveled through a major #shockdynamics mass accretion event, from the collision of two neutron stars in the vicinity, and the shockwaves are finally dissipating, as we travel through the main body of debris...


You know what's sad? That you haven't got a bloody clue what you're talking about! What bloody debris, you loon? Gravitational waves? Photons? Lol.

jonesdave
1 / 5 (1) Oct 28, 2018
as the comet had already sent the Doppler effect, pressure waves of charged particles and debris...


Hahahahahahahaha. Get back to the middle ages, you loon! Lol.
Kalopin
not rated yet Oct 28, 2018
ya know, what's really sad, is that this system has just traveled through a major #shockdynamics mass accretion event, from the collision of two neutron stars in the vicinity, and the shockwaves are finally dissipating, as we travel through the main body of debris...


You know what's sad? That you haven't got a bloody clue what you're talking about! What bloody debris, you loon? Gravitational waves? Photons? Lol.


https://www.astro...-to.html [Sunday, September 23, 2018] "...Only this month 161 such objects were detected..." [in 23 days]
https://www.astro...TTEU9WRs [Sunday, October 21, 2018] "...Only this month 136 such objects were detected..." [in 21 days] ...more than enough to constitute a debrisfield...
Kalopin
not rated yet Oct 28, 2018
as the comet had already sent the Doppler effect, pressure waves of charged particles and debris...


Hahahahahahahaha. Get back to the middle ages, you loon! Lol.


...when in truth this is science from the future, and what you exist in is delusion, as this mass accretion event changes your world without you having a clue, just as so many other events in the past...
...if you would like to understand science and history, go through my findings, and please, let me know of any inconsistencies, as to iron them out before next presentation, thanks...
...more accretion- https://www.star-...VwZpR8Ok "Comet 46P/Wirtanen – Naked Eye this December?
October 16, 2018 Star-Gazing"
https://www.newst...MKl-oTNo "12 new moons discovered orbiting Jupiter..."
Kalopin
not rated yet Oct 28, 2018
...and all please take a lesson from the close passing of a comet, and on its way in... "...Comet Siding Spring plunged the magnetic field around Mars into chaos," said Jared Espley, a MAVEN science team member at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. "We think the encounter blew away part of Mars' upper atmosphere, much like a strong solar storm would..." https://www.nasa....to-chaos
Kalopin
not rated yet Oct 28, 2018
"...The atmosphere of the comet includes not only streamers of gas, but also dust and other debris blowing off the nucleus at 56 kilometers per second relative to Mars. At that velocity, even particles as small as half a millimeter across could damage spacecraft. NASA's fleet of Mars orbiters including MAVEN, Mars Odyssey and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter will maneuver to put the body of Mars between themselves and the comet's debris during the dustiest part of the encounter...."
https://science.n...rscomet/
...
[...wonder no more how a comet can cause destruction...]

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