Scientists have Discovered an Asteroid that Changes Color
OREANDA-NEWS. Astrophysicists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) first recorded an asteroid that changes color.
Asteroid Gault with a diameter of 2.5 km was discovered back in 1988. And now he has changed color: from red to blue. As early as January, astronomers noticed how two long tails appeared on a space object, which are found in comets. The reason was the destruction of the asteroid. Astronomers continued to observe the object in real time and saw how it became blue instead of red.
Several different hypotheses were proposed as an explanation of the variability of Gault's spectral characteristics, for example, Rayleigh scattering of light by a finely dispersed substance of an asteroid or a change in the size of dust particles flying away from its surface. However, the observational data is best explained by the fact that the dust flies off the surface of Gault, as a result of which a subsurface substance that appears bluish is exposed. According to astronomers, the YORP effect is also responsible for such an active renewal of the Gault surface. In the future, it is planned to conduct several more observation campaigns, which should help scientists better understand the mechanisms of activity of such objects.