Skip to main content
Advertising

Originally published Friday, March 7, 2014 at 6:36 AM

  • Share:
           
  • Comments (0)
  • Print

Hubble Telescope captures shattering asteroid

The Hubble Space Telescope has captured the first pictures of a disintegrating asteroid.


Most Popular Comments
Hide / Show comments
No comments have been posted to this article.
Start the conversation >

advertising

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. —

The Hubble Space Telescope has captured the first pictures of a disintegrating asteroid.

Asteroid P/2013 R3 was detected in September in the asteroid belt between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. It appeared as a fuzzy object. Further observations by ground telescopes revealed three bodies. Hubble uncovered 10 objects, each with dusty tails. The four largest fragments are up to 656 feet across.

Scientists say the asteroid began coming apart early last year. They theorize sunlight is slowing pulling the asteroid apart by increasing its rotation.

A planetary scientist at the University of California, Los Angeles, David Jewitt, led the investigation. He says seeing the rock "fall apart before our eyes is pretty amazing."

The pictures were released Thursday.

___

Online:

Hubble: http://www.spacetelescope.org/



Want unlimited access to seattletimes.com? Subscribe now!

News where, when and how you want it

Email Icon

The summer is wide open.

The summer is wide open.

Follow our three-part "Washington's National Parks" series running through August 10 for an in-depth look at some of our local treasures.

Advertising

Partner Video

Advertising


Advertising
The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►