February 2, 2010 – Last month something strange was spotted in the asteroid belt. It looked like a comet, but its strange circular orbit around the sun suggested it must be a very rare asteroid/comet hybrid. There was another theory however, it could be the first ever observed hyper-velocity asteroid impact, and the comet-like tail was actually the debris produced after the violent cosmic encounter.
As this had the potential to be an unprecedented discovery, David Jewitt of UCLA applied for some special observing time on the Hubble Space Telescope and this is what our eye in the sky saw.
For more details, read Ray Villard’s run-down of this mystery visitor: Bizarre Asteroid Collision is One For The X-Files.
Image credit: NASA, ESA, D. Jewitt (UCLA)
Source: Discovery News