Asteroid Collision Photographed by Hubble Telescope

Filed in Gather News Channel by on October 16, 2010 0 Comments

The first visible asteroid collision and its aftermath have been photographed by the Hubble Space Telescope and give scientists and give new clues as to how asteroids behave when they smash into each other.

Details of Asteroid Collision

According to the Christian Science Monitor, astronomers suspect a rock maybe 10-16 feet (3-5 meters) wide slammed into a larger asteroid at speeds of about 11,200 mph (18,000 kph) with a detonation as powerful as a small atomic bomb. The smaller asteroid was vaporized and pressure then swept the debris behind the remnant asteroid, forming a comet-like tail, estimated to be 2.5 millimeters large, enough material to make a ball 65 feet (20 meters) wide.

Photos Vindicate Space Program or Confirm its Irrelevance?

Astronomers plan to use Hubble to examine the object again next year to see how far solar radiation has swept its dust back and how the mysterious X-shape nucleus has evolved. Such mysteries about what goes on above the Earth’s surface is all well and good, but is it necessary given the financial deficits of most nations? Is this a good use of time and/or tax dollars?

Some would argue that it is as humans need to find new forms of life throughout the universe because of the ecological damages people are inflicting on our planet. Yet, others would say it’s a big ball of science fiction that needs to be scrapped to pay for more military ships, planes, and war-heads.

Maybe both sides have a point and they could find some sort of middle ground if and when the “aliens” actually touch down to enslave the human race. What do you think?

Manuel Rodriguez

www.twitter.com/manueldrod

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