There are a lot more asteroids in Hubble photos than you think

There are a lot more asteroids in Hubble photos than you think

Thanks to a program involving astronauts and volunteers, NASA has discovered more than 1700 asteroid orbits.

1701: This is the number of asteroids photographed by Hubble since June 2019. These asteroids were discovered thanks to an original participatory science project. Hubble Asteroid Hunter. This project, was born On International Asteroid Day in June 2019Aimed at identification Asteroids with archive data from Hubble telescope.

The project was led by researchers and engineers European Center for Science and Technology (ESTEC) and European Center for Space Astronomy (ESDC), co Zooniverse site And Google allowed volunteers to help the space agency. More than 11,400 amateur astronomers have categorized and analyzed images taken by Hubble, and many more. 1700 asteroid tracks in 1316 photos taken by Hubble. Incredible, isn’t it?

Astronomers discover 1701 new asteroid orbits in archive data from Hubble Space Telescope // Source: ESA
Astronomers Discover 1701 New Asteroid Obstructions in Archive Data from the Hubble Space Telescope // Source: ESA

1701 Asteroids in Hubble Images

Astronomers and volunteers have jointly conducted further analysis 37,000 images Taken from April 2002 to March 2021, This is thanks to ACS (Advanced camera for surveys): This is a tool used to photograph large areas of the sky with clear details. After that it took about 30 minutes of observation time to get the results.

Thanks to these discoveries, astronauts Published a scientific article Explains details, methods and objectives Hubble Asteroid Hunter. Currently, one-third Asteroid tracks What has been observed using Hubble has been identified and is the cause of already known asteroids. The rest and as yet unidentified, the ESA site emphasizes that they may be small asteroids, so it is very difficult to analyze or identify.

Source: R.  Evans et al.  Staplefeld (NASA)
Source: R. Evans et al. Staplefeld (NASA)

Smaller asteroids are still under scrutiny, and the tracks and images discovered by Hubble may have allowed NASA and astronomers Find traces of the characteristics of the solar system, Thus further research. For now, the project highlights Hubble’s ability to capture these images. NASA hopes that this will definitely raise public interest in this research.

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