Hubble asteroid collision pictures emerge

May 2nd, 2011 - 9:48 pm ICT by Aishwarya Bhatt  

New York, May 2 (THAINDIAN NEWS) Scientists have captured on picture the collision of asteroids. This is the first time that the event has been caught on tape. Scientists say the incident happened last year.

Details of the findings are due to be published in the 20th May edition of the journal Astrophysical Journal Letters. Several asteroid collisions take place each year but they have always been elusive to scientists. This is the first time in the history of space science that the event has been photographed. Scientists are mostly not warned before-hand about impending collision. However this case was quite different.

Scientists were able to detect the imminent collision when they realized that one of the asteroid called “Scheila” has brightened unexpectedly. Scientists used data from Swift satellite and Hubble Space Telescope to deduce that there has been an impact. They ruled out the involvement of comets in the collision after analyzing the images captured by the telescope. Scheila orbits around the sun completing an orbit every five years or so.

There are millions of asteroids that are known to exist at a place in space known as the asteroid belt. Scientists predict that the collision took place between the 11th of November and the 3rd of December.

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