With six tails, it’s spinning through space between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter and making astronomers scratch their heads.
“It’s hard to believe we’re looking at an asteroid,” says David Jewitt, a UCLA astronomer and author of a report published in the Astrophysical Journal Letters.
“We were dumbfounded when we saw it. Amazingly, its tail structures change dramatically in just 13 days as it belches out dust.”
The tails seem to turn the asteroid into a comet. The Hubble telescope confirmed in September the discovery of what the astronomers say is a “weird and freakish object.”