Sodium ‘fizz’ gives big asteroid Phaethon its weird comet-like appearance

As an asteroid, Phaethon is a ball composed mainly of rock, and it shouldn’t have enough ice to form the glowing fuzzy coma and tail that adorn a comet. 

And yet, when Phaethon approaches the sun, it sprouts a tail and wraps itself in a comet’s disguise. Scientists have long suspected that Phaethon’s tail came from the asteroid shedding dust. Now, researchers are pointing to a different culprit: sodium. As Phaethon approaches the sun, the theory goes, the sodium deep inside the asteroid heats up, turns into vapor and seeps through cracks in the asteroid’s surface. In the process, the sodium kicks up a storm of dust and tiny rocks that sweeps out behind it, brightening Phaethon like a comet and forming its characteristic tail.

Source link


Nakedness Is Everywhere in Fashion, Even the Heel of a Shoe

All fashion week, we will be spotlighting the small...

How War in Ukraine Roiled Russia’s ‘Coolest Company’

What a difference a war makes.Just a few months...

England v Austria: Women’s Euro 2022 kicks off – live!

Key events:Show key events only66 min: Kelly takes it...

How to build better ice towers for drinking water and irrigation

There’s a better way to build a glacier. During winter in India’s mountainous Ladakh region, some farmers use pipes and sprinklers to construct building-sized cones...

NASA’s tiny CAPSTONE mission continuing to moon as team works communications glitch

Operators lost contact with the moon-bound CAPSTONE satellite yesterday (July 5) after completing a set of initial tasks following its separation from the rocket...

Where Fox News Is Hard to Come By

A mountain range in the Pacific Northwest is a last bastion for a unique canine Source link