The Hubble Space Telescope captured one of the most interesting photos, with a disintegrating comet. The 332P/Ikeya-Murakami was coming to the sun when it began to disintegrate. These are the most detailed pictures of a comet breaking apart. NASA showed how the ice and dust were drifting away from the comet that was 100 million km from Earth.
David Jewitt, from the University of California and lead researcher of this project, said that they did not know much about a disintegrating comet. Scientists tried for a long time to understand why this is happening,but the event was so fast that they were not able to find more information. However, technology is better than ever and Hubble allows NASA to see all the pieces from the comet and how they are changing. They are satisfied with this new discovery and hope they will find out more about comets.
The disintegrating comet was seen for three days. It began to shape its change, while pieces of ice were breaking apart. The pieces were moving at a few miles per hour and they represented 4 percent of the comet. Those images provide more information about the behaviour of comets and how they vaporize when they are closer to the sun.
NASA has been trying for years to learn more about the Universe and how it works. While they are preparing to send humans to Mars, other discoveries are made with their gadgets. The Hubble Space Telescope was launched in 1990 and it is still working good. It is one of the best telescopes NASA has, very popular for its discoveries during these years.
Hubble is the only telescope designed to be used in space by astronauts. NASA is expecting it to be in service until 2040. They are already planning for a new telescope, named James Webb Space, that will be launched in 2018.
The disintegrating comet was first discovered in 2010 by two astronomers. Even though its particles were breaking apart, there will be hundreds of years before it will die. Researchers have seen that the comet starts to die from 2015. However, they did not expect that Hubble will capture these images.
We can’t wait to see what other surprises Hubble has prepared for us. Space still has a lot of mysteries and we are expecting more interesting discoveries in the future.
Image source: Wikipedia