The largest asteroid in the Milky Way system is actually a prototype planet, which is a block that was developed into a real planet is bigger, so the results of one study.
Some researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), makes this conclusion after using the Hubble Space Telescope to study the Pallas, the second largest asteroid in the Milky Way system, according to the study, published in the journal Science, published in October.
Pallas, whose name is derived from a Greek goddess, Pallas Athena, was in the main asteroid belt between the orbits of Jupiter and Mars.
According to the theory of planet formation, planets prototype is the gas particle clouds, rocks, and dust that are in the process of planet formation. Prototype little planet in the path of each other's orbit, resulting in collisions and gradually form a true planet.
"It is exciting to see a new perspective of this object is very interesting and not observed by the Hubble's high resolution," said UCLA doctoral level students, Britney E Schmidt, lead author of the study.
"We estimate, a huge asteroid is not just a block planets are formed, but as an opportunity to study planet formation frozen in time," said Schmidt.
"Having the opportunity to use Hubble's, and seeing that image again and understand it can automatically change what we think about these objects," Schmidt said as reported China's official news agency, Xinhua.
With the Hubble images, Schmidt said he and his colleagues can make a new measurement of the shape and size of Pallas. They can see the surface has dark and bright areas, which shows a rich body of water that may have undergone internal changes in the same way through which the planet.
"That's what makes it more like a planet - variations in color and round shape is very important as far as we understand, is a dynamic object or objects that have exactly the same size since formed," said Schmidt. "We thought maybe it is a dynamic object."
For the first time, Schmidt said, he and his colleagues also saw a big crash at Pallas. They could not tell whether it is a crater, but her depression did show something else important: that it can lead to smaller families Pallas asteroids that orbit