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Images of 42 of the Biggest Asteroids in the Solar System

13 Oct 2021, 21:15 UTC
Images of 42 of the Biggest Asteroids in the Solar System
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A huge team of astronomers have combined forces to use the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope (ESO’s VLT) to provide the sharpest view ever of 42 of the largest objects in the asteroid belt, located between Mars and Jupiter.

Fittingly, the collection of images was released on the 42nd anniversary of the publication of “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” by Douglas Adams. In the book, the number 42 is the answer to the “Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything.” These 42 images represent some of the sharpest views ever of these objects — which might contribute to answering these ultimate questions!

Plus, there’s a great poster of the asteroids, too:

This poster shows 42 of the largest objects in the asteroid belt, located between Mars and Jupiter (orbits not to scale). The images in the outermost circle of this infographic have been captured with the Spectro-Polarimetric High-contrast Exoplanet REsearch (SPHERE) instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope. The asteroid sample features 39 objects larger than 100 kilometres in diameter, including 20 larger than 200 kilometres. The poster highlights a few of the objects, including Ceres (the largest asteroid in the belt), Urania (the smallest one imaged), Kalliope ...

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