All is quiet among newly studied Centaurs

Often, the squeaky wheel, or at least the shiniest object, seems to get all the attention. In a new study led by PSI Research Scientist Eva Lilly, it is the inactive Centaurs that take center stage and illuminate why other Centaurs may be so flashy. Centaurs are icy objects out between the orbits of Neptune and Jupiter that in some cases display comet-like tails and jets. This somehow happens despite being located where it is too cold for this kind of activity to occur due to normal solar-driven sublimation processes. Instead, changes to object's orbits or other interactions may be the force driving some Centaurs to become active like comets.