Astronomers witness mysterious, never-before-seen disintegration of asteroid

Posted on March 6, 2014

Astronomers, including Professor David Jewitt, have witnessed for the first time the breakup of an asteroid into as many as 10 smaller pieces. The discovery is published online March 6 in Astrophysical Journal Letters. Though fragile comet nuclei have been seen falling apart as they near the sun, nothing resembling this type of breakup has been observed before in the asteroid belt. NASA's Hubble Space Telescope photographed the demolition.