The scientists from NASA are presenting the discovery captured by Hubble Telescope: the death of a comet. The telescope captured the disintegration of a comet which was approaching the sun. The animation caught by the telescope shows how Comet 332P breaks apart at 100 million km from Earth, turning into large blocks made up of ice and dust. Scientists claim that this is the most accurate depiction of the Hubble Telescope representing the death of a comet.
- NASA brings to public eye new discovery.
- The death of a comet is explicitly shown in a footage taken by Hubble Telescope.
Comet 332P/Ikeya-Murakami was captured flying through the atmosphere at 67 million miles away from our planet. The Hubble Telescope depicted live, with great details all these images. The animation published by NASA made everybody wonder how was that accuracy possible.
The death of the comet took place beyond the orbit of Mars. The images were depicted by the Telescope on a time span of three days, in January 2016. Their sharpest details amazed even scientists. The 25 building-size blocks, consisting of a mixture of dust and ice, drifted into space, away from the comet.
The astronauts argue that, after further observations, the 4.5-billion-year-old comet was probably whirling so fast that massive parts of it were evicted from its surface. The trace left behind by the disintegration is of 3,000 miles long, larger than the width of the US continent.
These results were released by the scientists in September 2016, in a scientific journal, The Astrophysical Journal Letters.
David Jewitt, the lead researcher of the University of California claimed that all the scientists know that comets often decay, but there is not enough information on how or why they disintegrate. The reason is that all this happens very quickly and, most importantly, without notice. Scientists consider themselves to be lucky when working with Hubble Telescope because this time, it provided them with the best resolution captures that allowed the astronomers to make the best measurements ever possible.
The observations during these three days show that this asteroid’s fragments propagate through outer space with great speed, becoming brighter. Meanwhile, the icy clusters rotate into and out of the sunlight.
The relics contain 4 percent of the whole comet, and their unusual size is from 65 feet wide to 200 feet wide. The speed with which they drift apart from each other is impressive, getting to reach a few miles per hour.
Isn’t it strange how, during all these years while the Hubble Telescope was orbiting, this is the first time a discovery of this grandeur is reached? Do you think that there are other significant discoveries that weren’t made publish by NASA yet?
Image source: pixabay