An asteroid the size of the Roman Colosseum was “accidentally” stopped by European astronomers using the James Webb Space Telescope in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.
And according to the US space agency (NASA), this asteroid, which is between 100 and 200 meters across, is the tiniest space object the space telescope has yet to see.
She said, “The asteroid was discovered by European astronomers by accident,” emphasizing the need for more studies to better understand its nature and properties.
It was feasible to observe this object at a distance of more than 100 million kilometers thanks to James Webb’s exceptional abilities, according to Thomas Muller, an astronomer at the Max Planck Institute in Germany.
Through collaboration between Europeans and Americans, the asteroid was found during the calibration of the “Miri” infrared monitoring camera.
The James Webb telescope, the most potent of its kind ever, was launched into orbit by an Ariane 5 rocket, went into operation in July 2022, and at this point has been successful in gathering a significant quantity of data and taking breathtaking photographs.
The James Webb spacecraft is 1.5 million kilometers away from Earth and is supplied with enough fuel to last 20 years.
Exploring the early cosmos and looking for exoplanets are two of James Webb’s $10 billion projects.
Although the newly discovered planet was not intended to be found by the telescope, its finding serves as “an indicator that it will observe a vast number of celestial planets.”