New finding about 'weird' asteroid 3200 Phaethon made it weirder
"Comets often glow brilliantly by sodium emission when very near the Sun, so we suspected sodium could likewise serve a key role in Phaethon’s brightening."
| Apr 26, 2023 10:30 AM EST
Created: Apr 26, 2023 10:30 AM EST
This illustration depicts asteroid Phaethon being heated by the Sun. The asteroid’s surface gets so hot that sodium inside Phaethon’s rock likely vaporizes and vents into space, causing it to brighten like a comet and form a tail.