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Hubble photographed the aftermath of asteroid collision. / February 4, 2010 /

The orbital telescope Hubble photographed the mysterious object P/2010 A2. The result confirm that this object is the result of a collision of two asteroids. Photos and descriptions have appeared on the official site of the telescope.

First P/2010 was discovered in January 2010 under the scientific program LINEAR. Even then noted the unusual nature of astrophysical objects — apparently it was like a comet, but its location (within the main asteroid belt), together with an unusual path led researchers to assume that they face a body entirely different nature.

In the new pictures «Hubble» is clearly seen that at the base of the tail has a chaotic structure, uncharacteristic of the comet. Besides the core P/2010 A2 lies outside of the dust halo, which is also not characteristic of this class of objects. Thus, researchers have confirmed its primary hypothesis — P/2010 A2 was the result of collision of two asteroids are relatively recent.

Moreover, new data show that the collision was likely head-on. Speed of convergence of the two bodies was about 17 thousand kilometers per hour. Scientists emphasize that the collision of objects in the asteroid belt are fairly frequent event, but the first time researchers were able to register its marks clearly.

Hubble was launched into orbit in April 1990. During this time the apparatus was made many discoveries in the solar system, and far beyond.

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