The Crumbling Asteroid

The Crumbling Asteroid

asteroid-disintegration 1.jpg

Hubble has witnessed a never before event in the asteroid belt. An asteroid named P/2013 R3 is literally disintegrating in front of our eyes. The reason behind this is thought to be due to sunlight causing the asteroid to spin faster and the resulting centrifugal force causing the asteroid to disintegrate. the pieces are flying apart from each other at a rather slow 1 mph. Most of the fragments will burn up in the Sun but some may become a meteor shower to look for in the future.

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Image by: NASA, ESA, D. Jewitt (UCLA)

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