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Still Waters

Image: An asteroid streaking past Crab Nebula

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Still Waters

That's not a glitch or an artefact - the 'scratch' in this beautiful image is in fact an asteroid, streaking across the field of view while the Hubble Space Telescope recently imaged the Crab Nebula.

To take an image, Hubble generally has to be fixated on a patch of the sky for a period of time. Just as a long exposure of the night sky can result in star trails, Hubble can capture the trails of other astronomical objects.

Sometimes software programs can be used to identify interesting elements in pictures; one such example is the software used to pick out dimming stars from exoplanet-hunting telescopes like TESS.

But for the more unusual, random elements, there's nothing better than the human eye.


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