Many regulars here sent me this article concerning the slow crack-up of asteroid P/2013-R3, observed by mystified astronomers on Earth:
As the article indicates, there are basically three models being proposed for the crack-up of the object: (1) melting ice(unlikely), (2) collision with another object, also unlikely, since the velocity of the crackup is far too slow to be the result of collision, and (3) the "YORP" effect, as sunlight slowly increased the rate of rotation, causing the asteroid to break apart by centrifugal forces:
"The ongoing discovery of more fragments makes it unlikely that the asteroid is disintegrating due to a collision with another asteroid, which would be instantaneous and violent in comparison to what has been observed. Some of the debris from such a high-velocity smash-up would also be expected to travel much faster than has been observed.
"It is also unlikely that the asteroid is breaking apart due to the pressure of interior ices warming and vaporizing. The object is too cold for ices to significantly sublimate, and it has presumably maintained its nearly 480-million-kilometer distance from the Sun for much of the age of the Solar System.
"This leaves a scenario in which the asteroid is disintegrating due to a subtle effect of sunlight that causes the rotation rate to slowly increase over time. Eventually, its component pieces gently pull apart due to centrifugal force. The possibility of disruption by this phenomenon—known as the YORP effect—has been discussed by scientists for several years but, so far, never reliably observed."
But at the very end of the article, a fourth "cause" is mentioned, though in an obviously disparaging tone:
Yesterday, however, I blogged about a 2010 finding of Purdue scientists about the variability of radioactive decay rates in conjunction with solar phenomena and seasonal changes on Earth. I have blogged about such phenomena, and indeed, written and hypothesized about them in a few books(The Giza Death Star and most recently The Grid of the Gods by way of a stopover at Drs Nikolai Kozyrev and Ronald Richter in the Philosophers' Stone and Nazi International). IN that and other blogs and in those books I have suggested that there is an underlying coupling system, perhaps based on some form of coupled oscillator phenomenon, or some form of transduction, that have been quietly studied in off-the-books black research projects, such as were exemplified by Kozyrev's work in the Soviet Union, or Richter's in Nazi Germany. If there is anything to such an idea (and I believe there is), it takes little imagination to perceive that over prolonged time, investigation, and with enough money and personnel, a rather different kind of physics might have been developed, one that better udnerstands such coupling mechanisms and that, perhaps, is able to manipulate it. Which brings us to P/2013 R3 and some high octane speculation(on top of high octane speculation!). I suspect that it is a reasonable assumption to make that if the crackup of P/2013 R3 is due to any of the naturally proposed models, that we would have seen similar crackups from other asteroids before now. Their sheer numbers, plus the renewed interest in asteroid mining in recent years as a component of what I have called the "collateralization" of space as a component of the hidden financial system put into place to conduct such black research, would seem to suggest that other crackups should have been observed to be in progress until now. Yet (so far as we know), this is the first example, and only example. The uniqueness of the event, then, suggests that perhaps some mechanism of an arcane physics, and technology based upon it, might be in play. And if so, that dramatically increases the stakes of what is happened to that asteroid, for then the question becomes, who is doing it, and why? The why is, perhaps, easily enough guessed: someone is sending someone else a message, a shot across the bow: "We can crack up asteroids. And if the physics is capable of doing it on a small scale, it is capable of doing it on a larger one." The question then becomes who is sending the message. In the wake of the Chleyabinsk meteor incident, Russia's calls for asteroid defense, renewed calls for the commercialization and mining of space, the article's concluding statement may not have been made entirely in jest. See you on the flip side...
"Or, you all know, because aliens."