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Comet P/2010 A2, an Activated Asteroid from the Main Asteroid Belt

23 Jul 2010, 15:00 UTC
Comet P/2010 A2, an Activated Asteroid from the Main Asteroid Belt

Comet-like object P/2010 A2 was discovered by the LINEAR survey on January 6, 2010. Service observations carried out using ACAM on the William Herschel Telescope on January 21, 2010, show an asteroidal nucleus detached from the dust tail. Owing to its orbital parameters and its cometary appearance, the object is classified as a main-belt comet, in other words, an activated asteroid from the main asteroid belt. Comet P/2010 A2's orbit is the nearest to the Sun known so far, for this kind of object (semi-major axis of 2.29 AU). .

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Spectroscopic indications of water have been repeatedly looked for from this object. As far as I have been able to ascertain, they have never been found. It is difficult to understand what could have driven 8 months of expulsive activity from p/2010a2, if not a substantial amount of water ice sublimation.


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