||Millions of asteroids populate the inner solar system and many more
at much greater distances. These rocky inhabitants casually orbit
the sun and with feebleness reflect sunlight. All of the asteroids in this
frame are part of the main asteroid belt- a collection of thousands of
irregular shaped rocks (1-4km in size) between the orbits of Mars and
Jupiter (approximately 4 AU, or 4 earth-sun distances). |
THIS IS A LARGE ANIMATED GIF (700K). I could not find a way to compress the images without losing too much information. In this image you will find 5 asteroids. Try to find them on your own, and then click on the SOLUTION to see the answer with the names of the asteroids labeled. You will see many artifacts. Some are caused by the detector, such as bright pixels which shift because the images are shifted. Others are caused by cosmic rays which are only evident in a single frame. Ignore these things to find the asteroids which look like moving "stars."
You will also find a handful of dim fuzzy oval objects which are all background galaxies hundreds of millions of light years away. Click HERE to see the most recent example of an asteroid's motion against the background stars. This is a 2 megabyte animated GIF.
Minimum credit line: Larry Robinson/Adam Block/NOAO/AURA/NSF
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