There is a near-Earth asteroid Phaethon, that behaves almost like a comet. It has an eccentric orbit, that brings it very close to the Sun. When that happens, the asteroid gets brighter, as it loses some of its material. Comets behave in similar way, when the volatiles ices get warmed up, they sublimate and create a coma - tail of the comet. But all ices on Phaethon should be depleted by now and it is not clear what creates the tail of this asteroid. According to a new study it could be sodium.
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Astronomers discovered a small moon in orbit of Polymele asteroid, one of the targets of the space probe Lucy. The spacecraft is set to fly through the system in 5 years.
(7335) 1989 JA is the biggest asteroid that will visit Earth’s vicinity this year. It will pass Earth safely on Friday. In the closest point it will still be 10 times further than the Moon. The asteroid is estimated to be 1,8 km across (1,1 miles).
Unusually big comet C/2014 UN271 (also called Bernardinelli-Bernstein) is coming to the inner solar system from the Oort cloud. Analysis of its orbit shows that the perihelion (furthest point from the Sun) could be as far as 7 144 AU. In 2031 it should come at the closest point to the Sun - to about 11 AU. Astronomers currently estimate size of C/2014 UN271 to be about 200 km across.