hide announcement WIN your very own meteorite! Subscribe, gift or renew a subscription to Cosmos and automatically go into the draw – Shop now!

Asteroids photobomb Hubble shots of distant galaxies


Rude interlopers jump between the space telescope and its intergalactic targets.


 This Hubble photo of a random patch of sky is part of a survey called Frontier Fields. It contains thousands of galaxies, including massive yellowish ellipticals and majestic blue spirals. Much smaller, fragmentary blue galaxies are sprinkled throughout the field. The reddest objects are most likely the farthest galaxies. Asteroid trails appear as curved or S-shaped streaks. Asteroids appear in multiple Hubble exposures that have been combined into one image.
This Hubble photo of a random patch of sky is part of a survey called Frontier Fields. It contains thousands of galaxies, including massive yellowish ellipticals and majestic blue spirals. Much smaller, fragmentary blue galaxies are sprinkled throughout the field. The reddest objects are most likely the farthest galaxies. Asteroid trails appear as curved or S-shaped streaks. Asteroids appear in multiple Hubble exposures that have been combined into one image.
NASA, ESA, and B. Sunnquist and J. Mack (STScI)

When the Hubble Space Telescope looks at the deep and distant universe, sometimes nearby asteroids get in the way.

This Hubble photo of a random patch of sky is part of a survey called Frontier Fields. The colorful image contains thousands of galaxies, including massive yellowish ellipticals and majestic blue spirals. Much smaller, fragmentary blue galaxies are sprinkled throughout the field. The reddest objects are most likely the farthest galaxies, whose light has been stretched into the red part of the spectrum by the expansion of space.

The asteroids tracing out curved paths are, on average, a mere 250 million km away.

Curated content from the editorial staff at Cosmos Magazine.
Latest Stories
MoreMore Articles