Scientists first became directly witnessed the destruction of the asteroid





Astronomers from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) recently had the opportunity, using a space telescope “Hubble”, witness the destruction of the asteroid, located within the inner asteroid belt located between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. Under observation, scientists have noted that the space rock was split by at least ten pieces of various sizes.

For many years, scientists watched as broken and split various space objects within our solar system. Among these objects have been mainly of the comet. And one of the most recent and largest events of this kind was the passage of Comet ISON near our luminary. But the point is that scientists have never been able to personally observe the asteroid is destroyed.

The first witnesses of the event was the team of astronomers led by Professor David Jewitt, working at the Department of Planetology, the study of the Earth and other celestial objects at the University of California in Los Angeles, as well as in the department of physics of the same UCLA. Details of this observation recently (March 6) have been published in the scientific journal Astrophysical Journal Letters.

First the space object was discovered by telescopes Catalina and Pan-STARRS 15 September 2013 year. At that time, scientists were not able to clearly see the asteroid, but after a while they found that this cosmic body is going to split apart. From this moment on asteroid called P/2013 R3.

Two weeks after this moment, to observe the object joined Keck Observatory in Hawaii. The study revealed the presence of three space objects moving together and located in an area roughly the size of Earth.

“Observations of the Keck telescope has shown us that this asteroid definitely deserves attention space telescope” Hubble “- says Jewitt.

Further observation of the object by “Hubble” showed that instead of the three sites already have at least ten objects, each of which had its own dust tail. At the same time, four objects were about 200 meters in diameter each. In a further study of these rocks, scientists have concluded that the rate of divergence of these objects from each other was about 1.6 km / h


According to scientists, P/2013 R3 likely started the process of its disintegration elsewhere in early 2013. Astronomers believe that in view of the path of movement of outer stone this decay could hardly start due to a collision with another asteroid. Currently residues P/2013 R3 are approximately 428.8 million kilometers from the Sun.

Early studies showed that space object that the total mass of the asteroid until it split was about 200,000 tons. According to astronomers, P/2013 R3 in the distant future will be a very rich source of meteorites that will circle within our solar system and have a high chance of a collision with four planets that are closest to the Sun.
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Tags: Asteroids , Astronomy , Solar System .

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