Disintegrating Asteroid

Disintegrating Asteroid

C029/5723 Rights Managed

Request low-res file

530 pixels on longest edge, unwatermarked

Request/Download high-res file

Uncompressed file size: 8.8MB

Downloadable file size: 1.9MB

Price image Pricing

Please login to use the price calculator


Credit: NASA, ESA, and David Jewitt (UCLA) /SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has photographed the break-up of an asteroid, which has fragmented into as many as ten smaller pieces. Although fragile comet nuclei have been seen to fall apart as they approach the Sun, nothing like the breakup of this asteroid, P/2013 R3, has ever been observed before in the asteroid belt. The crumbling asteroid, designated P/2013 R3, was first noticed as an unusual, fuzzy-looking object on September 15, 2013 by the Catalina and Pan-STARRS sky surveys. Follow-up observations on 1 October with the Keck Telescope on Mauna Kea, Hawaii, revealed three co-moving bodies embedded in a dusty envelope that is nearly the diameter of Earth. Hubble observations soon showed that there were really ten distinct objects, each with comet-like dust tails. The four largest rocky fragments are up to 200 meters in radius.

Release details: Model release not required. Property release not required.

Keywords: asteroid, asteroid belt, astronomy, breaking apart, breaking up, comet, disintegrating, disintegration, dust tail, hst, hubble space telescope, main belt comet, mbc, outer space, p/2013 r3, planet, planetary, science, series, space, space exploration, universe

Licence fees: A licence fee will be charged for any media (low or high resolution) used in your project.