Hubble has sent new images of the remnants of the comet ATLAS

This cosmic guest had high hopes, expecting that a comet called ATLAS will illuminate the night sky over the infected planet this spring, and, according to forecasts, this light can be bright enough to see the comet with the naked eye.

Instead, icy object crumbled to pieces – but he still arranges a spectacular show for scientists. Ye Quanzhi, an astronomer from the University of Maryland, addressed to the Hubble space telescope to see the comet ATLAS. On Monday (April 20), he received the stunning images of fragments of the comet, which he shared on Twitter.

“We followed the disintegration of the comet with the ATLAS since it was first discovered in early April, but with the help of ground-based telescopes, we were unable to find a large portion of the field of debris,” he said, adding that he was excited seeing the new image. “With Hubble we are finally able to take pictures of the individual pieces of the comet”.

We hope that these pieces or mini-comets will help scientists understand what led to the collapse of ATLAS. In particular, astronomers rely on the distance between the fragments for reconstruction, as this distance increases as more time passes after the disaster.

Previous observations have identified four main fragment of the comet ATLAS. In the photo from Hubble shows that two of these fragments fell apart even more, with the result that there were two pairs of bright spots on the right, which represent four of the largest fragment. Two bright clouds on the left indicate places where large fragments broke into smaller pieces.

According to Ye, the comet ATLAS is hardly the first icy space rock that falls into the eyes of scientists, but there are some special conditions that make these new observations are especially exciting. First, the ATLAS collapsed when he was quite close to the Ground and was quite bright, which gave astronomers the opportunity to observe it in all its glory.

ATLAS comet hails from the Oort Cloud, a distant sphere of icy debris covering the Solar system at a distance of 15 billion kilometers from the Sun. This great distance makes it difficult for astronomers close study of the Oort Cloud, but observing the flight of the comet ATLAS will help scientists to develop new hypotheses about what is happening there.

According to the scientist, ATLAS is only the second bright comet from the Oort cloud, the fragments of which Hubble was able to observe its 30 years of operation.