Hartley 2 comet: Strange features confuse scientists over the theories on solar system formation (Images)

By on Jun 17, 2011 in Astronomy, Science, Technology, United States, Weird, World Comments

According to several international news sites on Friday, June 17, 2011, scientists are now forced to revisit some theories regarding the solar system’s formation because of the photos taken by the Deep Impact spacecraft which revealed Hartley 2, an unusual and mysterious little comet.

Related reports attest that the Deep Impact spacecraft, which flew in November last year, sent back images to Earth showing a comet shaped like a chicken drumstick or a dumbbell.

Similarly, the images showed the jets of gas and particles bursting from the comet, which was said to have aggressively created a snowstorm.

Hartley 2 was said to have behaved mysteriously, spewing extremely high amounts of dry ice and carbon dioxide into space. Apparently, it rotated rapidly as it tumbled while most other comets rotated slowly in one direction.

Lori Feaga, a planetary scientist from the University of Maryland, was quoted saying, “Our assumptions of what drives a typical comet’s activity, as well as what the composition of the primordial disk was and how much mixing occurred in the disk, have been turned upside down. We need to re-evaluate our theories.”

Close-up images of comet Hartley 2
Images Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UMD

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