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Webb discovers a small main belt asteroid in the Solar System.

20230213 080051 InfinityCosmos

20230213 080051 InfinityCosmos

An international team of European astronomers has detected an astonishing illustration of an asteroid using NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope. This asteroid is roughly the size of Rome’s Colosseum, measuring between 300 to 650 feet (100 to 200 meters) in length, and was identified by calibrating data from the MIRI instrument.

This discovery has provided a unique opportunity to observe an asteroid of this size from such a close distance and gain a better understanding of its composition and characteristics. Additionally, this discovery provides us with further insight into the formation and evolution of  solar system.

The recent web observations published in the Astronomy & Astrophysics journal were not intended to search for new asteroids, but rather to calibrate images of the already-discovered main-belt asteroid (10920) 1998 BC. This asteroid was first spotted by astronomers back in 1998, and since then its images have been constantly monitored and recorded for further analysis.

The observations made it possible for scientists to accurately map out the asteroid’s orbit, as well as its physical properties. In addition, these data also provided valuable insights into the asteroid’s environment, such as its chemical composition and potential threats from other cosmic bodies. By studying the asteroid in such detail, astronomers hope to better understand our Solar System and its many unique features.

Despite technical difficulties that caused the calibration team to deem the performance of some of MIRI’s filters to have failed, they were able to use the data on asteroid 10920 to establish and test a new technique for constraining. The issues included target brightness and telescope pointing offset, but the team was still able to use the data to determine the position of the asteroid and validate their new technique.

The team analyzing the MIRI data found a smaller interloper in the same region,Their results indicated that the object was between 100-200 m in size and orbiting at a very low inclination,It was located in the inner main-belt region at the time of the Webb observations. Interloper is of interest to scientists as it could provide valuable insight into the formation and evolution of minor planets.

Webb discovers a small main belt asteroid in the Solar System.

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