Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Hubble Space Telescope Catches Possible Asteroid Collision

Since we have been talking about asteroids the past two days, check this out.....

Look at this sci-fi-ish photo:

Astronomers think that HST has captured detailed images of what happens when two space rocks (asteroids) collide. The images were taken over a period of time and show the changes occuring within the collision remnant.

After some detective work astronomers think the collision occurred early last year and involved a smaller asteroid slamming into a larger one. The discovery photos looked all the world like a comet but HST showed the bizzarre and never before seen "X" pattern which ruled out the object being a comet.

The astro-collision took place in the busy solar system byway of the asteroid belt where millions of space rocks orbit the Sun. Such collisions are thought to take place about once a year but this is the first ever photo of such an event. Astronomers will look in on this "X-File" object next year to see how the crash scene is progressing.

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