P/2010 A2 (LINEAR)


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Discovered by LINEAR  on January, 8 2010   

The latest IAU telegrams or the latest CBET's. IAUC Astronomical Headlines.

Minor planet center's orbital elements and Ephemeris, the comet on Seiichi Yoshida's Homepage 
Light curves on Cometas Obs, JPL Small body database

The object is probably the remaining dust/debris resulting from a collision of two asteroids.

Read the comments of professional astronomers like Richard Miles (BAA),  Michael Kelley (University of Maryland) and Hal Weaver (NASA), please.

The Hubble Space Telescope is actually observing the structure on some days until June 2010. After the observing campaign  we will get new informations.

New informations:

The dust structure is not directed towards the Sun. Earth based observations are not able to determine the real direction of the "tail" in space.
I am sure, that ESA and NASA will give us the geometry and more informations of the dust very soon :)  
 (June, 6 2010)

Comet P/2010 A2, an Activated Asteroid from the Main Asteroid Belt - ING report (July, 23 2010)

Rosetta report of P/2010 A2   (August,29 2010)

During a meeting of the German Minor Planet Group in June 2010 I talked with Detlef Koschny, an ESA astronomer, about his investigations with the Rosetta probe.
He showed me very impressive images taken by the Rosetta probe in April/May, showing the comet on a perspective far away from Earth.
The guys from ESA found out, that the "tail" is directed away from the Sun in a roughly direction of about 45 degrees from the opposite Sun angle.
That means, that the "tail" is not a typical comet tail, because it is not directed straight away from the Sun like normal comet tails.
ESA found out, that the dust grains of the "tail" have a size of around 1 mm to 1 cm. 
 
(August,11 2010)

Image collection of the Hubble Space Telescope HST, made in the first half of 2010    (October,13 2010)

News of the Rossetta Space Probe   (October,13 2010)

Both NASA and ESA scientists came to the final conclusion, that P/2010 A2 is the remnant of an asteroid collision occured in early 2009.
Thanks to the discovery of
LINEAR, we amateurs could observe this event never seen before.


The dust/debris structure is still very constant since three months meanwhile, 43"  in PA 288.  The object is passing the star cluster NGC 2420.

P/2010 A2 (LINEAR)  by Bernhard Haeusler, Germany     P/2010 A2 (LINEAR)  by Bernhard Haeusler, Germany

P/2010 A2 (LINEAR) by Bernhard Haeusler, 2010-04-17 B/W          

31 x 2 min. exposure, 2010-04-17 UT 19:19, 12" SCT  f-5.65 + CCD ST10XME
head of dust structure: 18.34 mag, "tail": 43" in PA 288
sub-solar point position angle: PA 279.6


The dust/debris structure is still very constant, 47"  in PA 290.

P/2010 A2 (LINEAR)  by Bernhard Haeusler, Germany   

P/2010 A2 (LINEAR) by Bernhard Haeusler, 2010-04-07 B/W          

8 x 2 min. exposure, 2010-04-07 UT 19:08, 12" SCT  f-5.65 + CCD ST10XME
dust structure in the oval: 19.9 mag, "tail": 47" in PA 290


The dust/debris structure is still very constant, 1'03"  in PA 286.5.

P/2010 A2 (LINEAR)  by Bernhard Haeusler, Germany   

P/2010 A2 (LINEAR) by Bernhard Haeusler, 2010-04-01 B/W          

14 x 2 min. exposure, 2010-04-01 UT 19:19, 12" SCT  f-5.65 + CCD ST10XME
head of the dust structure on the left: 19.7 mag, "tail": 1'03" in PA 286.5


The dust/debris structure is still very constant, 37 arc sec  in PA 278. The image of the Hubble Space Telescope of January,29 2010
is showing the corresponding asteroids on the Eastern part of the dust. Since this image of the Hubble Space Telescope was taken it is clear,
that the dust/debris/boulder structure is directed relatively to the Sun (Sun Pos.Angle PA 292.3 at Jan, 19 2010).

This means, that the dust/debris of P/2010 A2 (LINEAR) is not comparable with a "normal" dust tail of a comet, which is normally directed
roughly vice versa to the Sun Pos. Angle. The ejected material of the collision should be more compact than comet material.
But it seems, that the dust/debris of P/2010 A2 is influenced by both the solar wind and gravitational forces anyway.

At the moment of the assumed collision of two asteroids, the direction of the dust/debris is influenced by the impact event, off course.
But it is very interesting, that the remaining dust/debris complex is still very constant in shape and orientation.

synchrone-syndyne network  by Hiroki Akisawa, Japan

synchrone-syndyne network by Hiroki Akisawa, Japan

Hiroki Akisawa from Japan calculated synchrone-syndyne network by Bessel-Bredikhin theory and fitted for this image.
Description of his diagram: Yahoo Comets ML         

P/2010 A2 (LINEAR)  by Bernhard Haeusler, Germany   

P/2010 A2 (LINEAR) by Bernhard Haeusler, 2010-03-11 B/W          

20 x 3 min. exposure, 2010-03-11 UT 20:32, 12" SCT  f-5.65 + CCD ST10XME
head of the dust structure on the left: 19.3 mag, "tail": 37" in PA 278
The Sun Pos.Angle at the time of the exposure was PA 275.7 (See: HORIZON Query,
QUANTITIES=1,9,16)

P/2010 A2 (LINEAR)  by Bernhard Haeusler, Germany

Gif animation  20 x 3 minutes in reality, foreshortend to 1.8 seconds
P/2010 A2 in the center left, asteroid 19610 Arthurdent (17.4 mag) on the right upper corner

The constitution of the dust/debris/boulder structure of P/2010 A2 should be more massive in comparison to the scattered material of desintegrating comets.
I.e. the end of C/1999 S4 (and probably the actual end of C/2009 O2 too) was going on very fast.

The next opposition of P/2010 A2 will occur in May/June 2011. This will bean interesting opportunity the take more images and to check,
if the structure has changed. Maybe the Solar Wind will not disperse the destroyed material of the collided asteroids until next year.


image of Martin Mobberley at March, 7 2010


P/2010 A2 (LINEAR)  by Bernhard Haeusler, Germany    P/2010 A2 (LINEAR)  by Bernhard Haeusler, Germany

P/2010 A2 (LINEAR) by Bernhard Haeusler, 2010-03-06 B/W

10 x 5 min. exposure, 2010-03-06 UT 21:42, 12" SCT  f-5.65 + CCD ST10XME
head of the dust structure on the left: 19.13 mag, "tail": 1'37" in PA 280
The Sun Pos.Angle at the time of the exposure was PA 275.6 (See: HORIZON Query,
QUANTITIES=1,9,16)

P/2010 A2 (LINEAR)  by Bernhard Haeusler, Germany

Development of the structure, period of time: 28 days


The cometary structure is the result of a collision of two asteroids. First the object was assumed as a new main belt comet. 
But soon astronomers of NASA revealed the object as an asteroid suffered a collision with another object.

P/2010 A2 (LINEAR)  by Bernhard Haeusler, Germany    P/2010 A2 (LINEAR)  by Bernhard Haeusler, Germany

P/2010 A2 (LINEAR) by Bernhard Haeusler, 2010-03-04 B/W   Gif animation  24 x 5 minutes in reality, foreshortend to 2 seconds         

24 x 5 min. exposure, 2010-03-04 UT 22:05, 12" SCT  f-5.65 + CCD ST10XME
dust structure: 42" in PA 278

full size gif animation 6,6 MB


P/2010 A2 (LINEAR)  by Bernhard Haeusler, Germany    P/2010 A2 (LINEAR)  by Bernhard Haeusler, Germany

P/2010 A2 (LINEAR) by Bernhard Haeusler, 2010-02-07 B/W    

16 x 5 min. exposure, 2010-02-07 UT 22:27, 12" SCT  f-5.65 + CCD ST10XME
dust structure: 2'41" in PA 27828'

left image: The inlay above is showing the an enlargement of the original combined image.
On the inlay down I removed the involved stars around the structure.

One significant knot is marked.


Breaking news of NASA/ESA at February, 2 2010  here and here

image of Ramon Naves at January, 22 2010

image of Gustavo Muler at January, 18 2010


P/2010 A2 (LINEAR)  by Bernhard Haeusler, Germany   

P/2010 A2 (LINEAR) by Bernhard Haeusler, 2010-01-13 B/W          

6 x 3 min. exposure, 2010-01-13 UT 02:21, 12" SCT  f-5.65 + CCD ST10XME
17.58 mag, no coma, tail: 1'48" in PA 279.72


image of Erik Bryssink at January, 12 2010

image of Kevin Heider at January, 12 2010

The 5th Main-Belt comet. Image of the WYNN 3.5 meter telescope, blog of Carl Hergenrother  January, 11 2010

image of Francois Kugel at January, 10 2010

image of Gustavo Muler at January, 8 2010


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Copyright of all sites and images of this web: Bernhard Haeusler, Rimpar, Germany   MPC code: B82 Maidbronn