About 900 asteroids of different sizes and shapes revolves at present around our Sun. Each of these stones is unique in its own way, but, nevertheless, the mankind is extremely lucky in the case of meeting one of them on our planet. However, despite its fearsome appearance, some of these space objects can surprise even the most sophisticated astronomical plan view. So, in December of last year, scientists were able to discover a special asteroid located between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. Despite its standard for a stone appearance, the incredible asteroid has its own unusual feature — it can change color.
Can the asteroid to change its color?
Astronomers first discovered a small rocky object that revolves somewhere in the asteroid belt, back in 1988, decided to call his discovery in honor of the famous in scientific circles geologist Donald Gault. Until recently, the space rock was seen as relatively average in size about 2.5 miles wide. Currently, the stone is rotated along with thousands of other pieces of rock and dust in the inner region of the asteroid belt, which is located about 214 million miles from the Sun.
Good question: is it Possible to build a city on an asteroid?
Researchers from MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) confirmed that the asteroid has a rocky surface, although it has an unusual cometophobia tail, which is absolutely not typical of asteroids of its type.
Comets usually come from the more remote corners of the Solar system. When they fly up to the Sun, the whole surface of the comet ice instantly turns into gas, creating a unique tail, which managed to become famous comet. As a team of scientists found that 6478 Gault is a dry, rocky body, this means that the asteroid probably generates tails of dust by some other active mechanism.
Watching the asteroid, the scientists, to their surprise, discovered that the stone can change color in the near infrared range from red to blue.
Researchers believe that the effect of “cosmic chameleon” was the result of the ejection into space of the surface dust of the asteroid, which over millions of years of exposure to the Sun acquired a red hue. The dust gradually volatilizing into space, exposes less irradiated sections of the surface which appears blue in the infrared spectrum.
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Active the “dumping” of dust from the surface of the asteroid because the asteroid, apparently, rotates fast enough, allowing the centrifugal force to literally “blow” their entire surface, forming a 2 cometophobia tail. Thus, according to the researchers, the asteroid should have approximately a two-hour period of rotation around its axis, so that the above scenario could play out in full force.