|WikiProject Astronomy / Astronomical objects||(Rated Start-class, Low-importance)|
|WikiProject Solar System||(Rated Start-class, Low-importance)|
Some good with wiki script put this pic in.
entire pic collection here
Comet or Asteroid?
Clearly this is an unsettled matter. The classification as a comet occurred before the calculation of its orbit and the Hubble imagery. No doubt, the definitional distinction between a comet and an asteroid is going to be an issue even for the experts. The article ought to reflect that for the time being. Tmangray (talk) 18:36, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
The source object of the outburst is unknown at this time. Object has not been reclassified by professionals. The general orbit (being confined to the asteroid belt) has been know since day one. -- Kheider (talk) 18:44, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
- I'm not sure what you mean by "source object" or "outburst". The source object(s) are currently being discussed by the professionals as two asteroid fragments in collision, and the "outburst" as collisional debris. In fact, the official Hubble site  refers to the object now as a "comet-like" asteroid rather than a comet. Don't you think the article should reflect this changing characterization? Why not then simply drop the definitive-sounding "comet" from the title sentence? This is my proposed change, subject to editor consensus. Tmangray (talk) 19:05, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
- Even the professionals have not seen the source objects, perhaps because they disintegrated on impact. But "Wikipedia" is not in the business of making assumptions. The source of the cometary outburst is still not absolute. Besides the traditional definition of a comet as a "hairy tailed object" is still basically met. -- Kheider (talk) 19:18, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
The orbital characteristics, as well as the failure to detect any gas in the tail, and the absence of a pronounced coma seems to bag this as an asteroid for me and I think the general consensus is heading that way. and  Choronzon (talk) 15:33, 4 February 2010 (UTC)
- It's really not that big of a deal. The difference between a comet and an asteroid has been getting blurrier for years. Without the Spitzer space telescope taking a look at the debris field, I do not think we can say for sure that the impactors did not contain any volatiles. It would be up to the Minor Planet Center and/or NASA to reclassify the object. Besides, I think the first sentence explains the situation adequately. -- Kheider (talk) 06:33, 5 February 2010 (UTC)
- Today's news release from NASA pretty unequivocally speaks of the object as an asteroid, not a comet. It appear that the distinction lies with the matter of outgassing. The object here does not outgas. The debris is strictly associated with a collision. The first sentence should be amended to refer to it as "an object", perhaps a temporary compromise pending something more definitive from the experts. Tmangray (talk) 22:40, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
I will work on it more tomorrow, but it can not be ruled out that the small asteroids rotation increased from solar radiation resulting in a loss of mass that formed a comet-like tail. -- Kheider (talk) 09:03, 15 October 2010 (UTC)