By KALANI CHEN-HAYES, age 10

Pan-STARRS survey telescope in Mauii, Hawaii. PHOTO: Sm3ghead
Pan-STARRS survey telescope in Mauii, Hawaii. PHOTO: Sm3ghead

In August 2013, NASA found a strange asteroid with six comet-like trails of dust resembling a rotating lawn sprinkler. Asteroids are small rocky bodies that orbit the sun and usually only appear as points of light when viewed from earth without a telescope. This one, named P/2013 P5, originally appeared as a fuzzy object when it was seen in Maui, Hawaii, using Pan-STARRS, a survey telescope. Scientists say the strange appearance is due to the asteroid’s surface breaking apart and releasing dust.