On December 12, 2010 with the asteroid Sheila (Scheila) happened something very unusual. During the short period since its appearance has changed – a comet’s tail appeared! Now an international team of scientists led by Fernando Moreno of the Institute of Astrophysics of Andalusia in Granada, Spain, created a computer model that can explain this strange occurrence.The results were presented on October 7 in Nantes, France, at a joint meeting of the European Planetary Science Congress and the Department of the American Astronomical Society’s planetary sciences, where the team has explained his theory that an asteroid collided this innocent with another object.
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Moreno and his team have built a brightness curve of a newly discovered tail Sheila, to see how it went down within a week. According to them, Sheila occasionally stumbles on unregistered objects, which is why there is a trace of debris.”The model that we used, involves a very large number of particles emitted by Sheila,” explains Moreno.”We took into account the gravity of the Sun, radiation pressure on the ejected particles, gravity and the strong influence of Sheila on the particles because of its large mass.”The first signs of “accidents” of asteroids occurred in the period between November 11 and December 3, 2010. But thanks to careful research, the team determined that the accident occurred November 27, 2010 plus / minus 3 days. Sheila’s size is about 110 kilometers across, and the second object, according to scientists, from 60 to 180 meters in diameter. This is enough to send some particles flying into space.As for the asteroid Sheila, it belongs to a class of main-belt comets – objects that have orbital characteristics of the main asteroid belt, but sometimes behave like a comet. The reason for this behavior is still not clear. While the new modeling techniques tend to impact theory, there is also a good chance of gaseous emissions. But astronomers from the University of Maryland and the Institute of Astronomy, University of Hawaii ruled the Sheila’s case of gases.