GEOFF TOMPKINSON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY GEOFF TOMPKINSON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Impact crater study. Dr Mark Burchill (top) and Dr Simon Green study coloured light micrographs of impact craters caused by space junk on a solar panel of the Hubble Space Telescope. The solar panels were constantly bombarded with tiny high-velocity particles. While some of these were natural small meteoroids, there were impacts from "space junk": debris left in orbit from previous missions. Study of the solar panels provided data about impacts and the damage they cause. This data is important in the planning of future missions, notably the proposed space station. The lines on the micrographs are 1 millimetre apart.
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