In news from NASA a mysterious unidentified space object has captured the imagination of scientists and astronomy enthusiasts. The object, an X shaped anomaly trailing debris like a comet, is puzzling to those studying the phenomena.
Researchers have never actually seen anything quite like it, and some have half-jokingly referred to it as a space ship due to its unusual shape and debris patters. Gizmodo first reported on P/2010-A2, likening it to a “Klingon Bird of Prey” from the Star Trek series. It does after all have the all too familiar X shape.
The object was caught by NASA’s Hubble, reportedly traveling some 11,000 mile per hour. UCLA researchers think Hubble caught a rare opportunity when two comets collided to cause the effect, but guesses are all that has emerged by way of science about the mysterious object. The “Bird of Prey”, as we will call it (BOP) is in fact some 90 million miles from Earth according to estimates. Nothing about the trajectory of the object has been mentioned as of yet.
Scientists theorize that comet collisions (if that is what BOP is) are quite common, but hard to pinpoint or predict for images. Such a collision is likely what happened 65 million years ago when a comet struck Earth, casting the planet into a winter which sent the dinosaurs into eternity. As Gizmodo aptly pointed out, these rocket scientists actually have no idea what the anomaly is, but are brainstorming possible explanations. Here is a quote from the scientists which reveals a little of their dismay and astonishment:
“If this interpretation is correct, two small and previously unknown asteroids recently collided, creating a shower of debris that is being swept back into a tail from the collision site by the pressure of sunlight. The filamentary appearance of P/2010 A2 is different from anything seen in Hubble images of normal comets, consistent with the action of a different process.
A little like saying; “We believe the anomaly could be a Bird of Prey, but we are not sure? The BOP is consistent with millions of others things not even our NASA scientists have a clue about. However daunted NASA and the astronomy world is, the BOP is beautiful and fascinating. I really think the world should name this phenomena BOP, out of appropriateness. Oh, and just in case. What a marvelous and majestic UFO no one can deny.