Bizarre “Lawn Sprinkler” Discovered in Space!

P 2013 P5

They say there’s nothing new under the sun.  But, if a recent Hubble telescope discovery is to be believed, there is certainly something new orbiting it.  In the asteroid belt, no less!

The object, which has been dubbed “P/2013 P5” (ah, scientist can be so poetic!) has had NASA experts scratching their heads since it was first discovered in August.  They photographed it again in September.  And again about a week ago.  Each time it looked different.

It’s not a comet.  But it has six comet like tails.  Each belching dust.  So it’s not made of ice, like a traditional comet.   It’s also not a traditional asteroid.  It’s something completely new.  A strange, extraterrestrial dust sprinkler.  In fact, NASA scientists have compared it to a “rotating lawn sprinkler”.

Although the object broke off from a larger asteroid 200 million years ago, they don’t think it’s current appearance is the result of collision, because they haven’t seen enough dust expelled into space in all directions.  Just these strange, irregular, sprinkler tails.

So, lawn sprinklers in space.  What’s next?  An extraterrestrial Slip ‘N Slide.

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