Feeds

Hubble snaps fall-out from Jupiter impact

Impressive debut for Wide Field Camera 3

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

The Hubble Space Telescope has turned its new Wide Field Camera 3 on the aftermath of the 19 July collision between the gas giant and an unidentified object:

Hubble image of the collision aftermath, taken on 23 July. Pic: NASA

NASA describes the image as the "sharpest visible-light picture yet" of the atmospheric debris from the prang, first spotted by amateur Oz astronomer Anthony Wesley and subsequently captured in the infrared by the Keck Observatory in Hawaii.

The agency is suitably chuffed with this first science observation from its new camera, installed during space shuttle Atlantis's STS-125 mission back in May. Although the instrument is not yet fully calibrated, Heidi Hammel of the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colorado, which made the observation, enthused: "Hubble's truly exquisite imaging capability has revealed an astonishing wealth of detail in the impact site.

"By combining these images with our ground-based data at other wavelengths, our Hubble data will allow a comprehensive understanding of exactly what is happening to the impact debris."

Aficionados of proper units of measurement will be delighted to learn that Amy Simon-Miller of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center estimated the size of the impacting object as "the size of several football fields", and the force of the blast as "thousands of times more powerful than the suspected comet or asteroid that exploded over the Siberian Tunguska River Valley in June 1908".

NASA's breathless press release is here, and there's a big version of the above pic right here. ®

The Power of One Infographic

More from The Register

next story
World Solar Challenge contender claims new speed record
One charge sees Sunswift travel 500kms at over 100 km/h
SMELL YOU LATER, LOSERS – Dumbo tells rats, dogs... humans
Junk in the trunk? That's what people have
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
Bad back? Show some spine and stop popping paracetamol
Study finds common pain-killer doesn't reduce pain or shorten recovery
Forty-five years ago: FOOTPRINTS FOUND ON MOON
NASA won't be back any time soon, sadly
Jurassic squawk: Dinos were Earth's early FEATHERED friends
Boffins research: Ancient dinos may all have had 'potential' fluff
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.