A small Asteroid discovered by Webb Telescope
The NASA Webb Space Telescope recently discovered a tiny asteroid in the solar system at a distance of around 62 million miles. This asteroid is the smallest one discovered in the central belt and has become a space showpiece of keen observation.
According to Britannica, asteroids are usually 600 miles broad. Still, this asteroid’s size is similar to the Roman Colosseum or the moonlet Dimorphos, a space rock that collided with NASA DART spacecraft in September 2022.
After a collision with DART, the impact was observed by both the Hubble Space Telescope and the Webb Space Telescope showing the ability to observe such tiny space things. However, the Dimorphous and Didymos space rocks were only 6.8 million miles apart, and the recently discovered asteroid is nearly ten times far away.
The researchers were using Webb telescope data for some other purpose, and unexpectedly, the asteroid was discovered in calibration data from the MIRI instrument, a Webb infrared imager. Also, 25 years ago, an asteroid known as 10920 1998 BC1 was captured by MIRI. It means that MIRI has the potential to detect a previously undiscovered asteroid.
A research team will research to find out whether it was a previously undiscovered asteroid by studying the background stars in the MIRI image to understand the object’s orbit better.