Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Hubble captures mystery object ...

What could it be?
The weirdest thing, however, is not only the prettyful X-shaped debris pattern, but the fact that its 460-foot-wide nucleus is outside the dust halo and separated from the trail. This behavior is something which has never been seen before in a comet or any other solar-system-swooshing object.
I wonder how far away this thing is ... to get that good of a resolution (capturing detail on a 460 foot wide object) is pretty impressive. Yet another reason to keep Hubble up and running.

Here is NASA's press release on the object.
At the time of the Hubble observations, the object was approximately 180 million miles from the sun and 90 million miles from Earth. The Hubble images were recorded with the new Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3).
Ok, so that answers my question ... a resolution of 460 feet (probably can go lower) from 90 million miles away. Makes you wonder exactly what spy satellites can do, huh? Probably read your text messages on your phone from outer space. You better shield your iPhone from prying eyes when you're outside!


microbiologist xx said...

Not only is that super-cool, but has the potential to spawn some kind of new cult or trigger an old one to do something totally retarded. I mean, it is shaped like an X after all and that has to mean something...right? :)

Tom said...

Where are Fox and Scully when you need them?