Release 757 of 1,065
A Mote in Hubble's Eye
Release date: Mar 4, 1999 12:00 AM (EST)
Release type: Hubble Heritage

The Hubble telescope image is a typical Milky Way star field in the constellation Centaurus. Such snapshots can be used to study the evolution of stars that make up our galaxy.

Most of the stars in this image lie near the center of our galaxy some 25,000 light-years distant. But one object, the blue curved streak [top right], is something much closer. An uncatalogued, mile-wide bit of rocky debris - an asteroid - orbiting the Sun only light-minutes away strayed into Hubble's field of view. An analysis of this asteroid indicates this asteroid's orbit could cross Mars's path.