langue fr ESA - 20/02/2023

An asteroid the size of the Colosseum! #shorts

The Webb observations which revealed this small asteroid were not originally designed to hunt for new asteroids in fact, they were calibration images of the main-belt asteroid (10920) 1998 BC1, which astronomers discovered in 1998, but the calibration team considered them to have failed for technical reasons due to the brightness of the target and an offset telescope pointing. Despite this, the data on asteroid 10920 were used by the team to establish and test a new technique to constrain an objects orbit and to estimate its size. The validity of the method was demonstrated for asteroid 10920 using Webb observations combined with data from ground-based telescopes and ESAs Gaia mission.

In the course of the analysis of Webb's data, the team found the smaller and previously unknown interloper in the same field of view. The teams results suggest the object measures 100200 meters, occupies a very low-inclination orbit, and was located in the inner main-belt region at the time of the Webb observations.

Learn more:

Subscribe: and click twice on the bell button to receive our notifications.

Check out our full video catalog:
Follow us on Twitter:
On Facebook:
On Instagram:
On LinkedIn:
On Pinterest:
On Flickr:

We are Europe's gateway to space. Our mission is to shape the development of Europe's space capability and ensure that investment in space continues to deliver benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world. Check out to get up to speed on everything space related.

Copyright information about our videos is available here: