We first appeared in January that there were signs of eyes received decades ago, but now astronomers are using NASA's Telescope Space Hubble saying that the spacepiece may be falling apart.
The asteroid zone between Jupiter and Mars is characterized by the asteroid 2.5-mile wide (4 km wide), where it was first seen in 1988. Although it is seen by telescopes several times over the decades, it was like that. until November last year scientists saw changing signs. By January, Gault had developed a tail of an enemy that spanned 249,000 miles (400,000 kilometers).
At the time, some astronauts suggested that the fracture of another asteroid could be broken, but a new paper from the international team of researchers concludes that the Gault was ready for falling apart, may not affect the breakdown.
"This self-destruction event is very rare," said author Olivier Hainaut from the European Deesity Theater, in a solution. "Active and unstable asteroids such as Gault are only detected by looking at new telescopes that look at the sky in full, which means the inhibited asteroids as a Gault can't t get away again. "
The paper will be published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters.
The images from Hubble show that Gault is being thrown by two narrow tails of debris, showing that the material was thrown out into a pair of short balls that would last between hours and a few. days.
Around 800,000 known asteroids in the asteroid zone are over Mars, but astronomers believe this type of drugs is only happening once a year. The weak state of the asteroid is the result of what is called Yarkovsky-Keefe-Radzievskii-Paddack, or the YORP lamp. The basic idea is that electromagnetic radiation from the sun interacts with small objects like asteroids in ways that can cause faster and faster, grow larger and more sustainable.
"It may have been relatively unstable for 10 million years. Bad disturbance, such as a slight stonework, may have caused the new riots," she explained. T lead author Jan Kleyna from the University of Hawaii.
Astronomers say the tail will start to accelerate in the coming months when the dust dips into the area. That is, unless 6478 Gault is still falling on our eyes.