The object in these photographs captured by Hubble is not a comet. It's something that no astronomer has ever seen before, according to NASA: An asteroid with six comet-like tails that isn't moving like a comet and it's not made of ice. It's just hanging up there, rotating like a crazy space spider.
According to lead investigator David Jewitt of the University of California at Los Angeles, "we were literally dumbfounded when we saw it [in the solar system's asteroid belt] We were completely knocked out."
NASA says that "unlike all other known asteroids, which appear simply as tiny points of light, this asteroid, designated P/2013 P5, resembles a rotating lawn sprinkler. Astronomers are puzzled over the asteroid's unusual appearance."
Jewitt and his colleagues have a theory about how this one-of-a-kind object came to be: a space collision.