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James Webb discovers ‘smallest’ asteroid ever: as big as Rome’s Colosseum

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Although this object is considered “small”, initial measurements determined it to reach the size of the Colosseum in Rome.

this week, NASA A new and unexpected discovery from the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) has been announced. This is an asteroid located in the main asteroid belt between the planets Mars and Jupiter. be the smallest ever discovered .

Although the space agency classifies this object as “small,” it’s important to consider the average size of asteroids. and it is, In contrast to meteorites, they are much larger, reaching up to 1,000 kilometers .

One of this problem, According to Webb’s initial data, it is 100 to 200 meters, comparable in size to the Colosseum in Rome. At 188 meters long, 156 meters wide and 57 meters high, it can accommodate approximately 50,000 people.

James Webb accidentally discovers a small asteroid

The findings were published in the journal Astronomy and AstrophysicsHowever, it was not the target of James Webb’s observations at the time of its discovery. in fact, The focus was on testing the performance of some of the MIRI instrument filters built into the telescope.

Then, to perform a test, a team of astronomers pointed to asteroid 10920 in the main belt, where telescopes detected other small objects.

10920 had already been observed, but no other instrument had ever been able to see the new asteroid in the same field of view.

For now, those responsible for the discovery point out that there is still much to observe. These determine the details of the asteroid’s nature, They confidently estimate it to be the smallest ever detected.

This discovery once again proves James Webb’s prowess. We now know that we can detect objects that were previously invisible to other telescopes, whether on the ground or in space.

And with this in mind, NASA suggests next observations from MIRI instrument may continue to discover asteroids previously undetectable.

Source: Biobiochile

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