Hubble has observed some weird things since it was launched in 1990, but this is probably one of the strangest.
In September 2013, the Catalina and Pan-STARRS sky surveys spotted a mysterious object in the asteroid belt, a region of rocky debris that occupy the space between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. Follow-up observations by the Keck Observatory in Hawaii resolved three separate objects within the fuzzy cloud. It was so strange that Hubble mission managers decided to use the space telescope to get a closer look.
And what they saw has baffled and thrilled astronomers in equal measure.
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Hubble resolved the slow-moving debris of an asteroid that is in the process of breaking up. The asteroid, designated P/2013 R3, hasn't hit anything, as the fragments are moving too slow - it just seems to be falling apart. This is unprecedented, never before has an asteroid been seen disintegrating to this degree in the asteroid belt.
"This is a rock. Seeing it fall apart before our eyes is pretty amazing," said David Jewitt of the University of California, Los Angeles, who led the investigation.