image 16-July-2019 14:45:59

Rosetta image of the asteroid P/2010 A2

Date: 13 October 2010
Satellite: Rosetta
Depicts: P/2010 A2
Copyright: ESA - OSIRIS-Team; MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/RSSD/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA

The asteroid P/2010 A2 as seen by the OSIRIS Narrow Angle Camera on board the Rosetta spacecraft. Originally suspected to be a main belt comet, this bizarre object is in fact the remnant of an asteroid collision that occurred around 10 February 2009, and the dust trail is debris from the impact.

The impact resulted in the ejection of dust and led, initially, to the formation of a moderately-sized cloud around the nucleus; after a year, the Sun's gravity and radiation pressure contributed to spreading it to a more pronounced, and thus observable, extent.

The wide-field frame (on the left side) has a size of 2.2 degrees on a side, while the close up (on the right side) is 200 arc-seconds on a side. The halo-like features in correspondence to the bright stars are due to internal reflections within the OSIRIS camera.

The picture was taken on 16 March 2010.


Last Update: 26 February 2014

For further information please contact: SciTech.editorial@esa.int

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