National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

Researchers Explain the Formation of Scheila's Unusual Triple Dust Tails

| Science

A research team of planetary scientists and astronomers, primarily from Seoul National University, the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, the Institute of Space and Astronautical Science, and Kobe University, has explained the formation of peculiar triple dust tails from the asteroid Scheila (asteroid #596). The researchers concluded that another asteroid about 20-50 meters in size impacted Scheila from behind on December 3, 2010 and accounted for its unusual brightness and form.