Asteroid comparison chart, Part II

The entire universe in blog form
Dec. 9 2010 6:50 AM

Asteroid comparison chart, Part II

I've been meaning to let y'all know about this: a while back I wrote how Emily Lakdawalla of the Planetary Society blog put together a scaled asteroid/comet size comparison chart. Well, she's updated it to include the nucleus of Hartley 2, visited by the EPOXI spacecraft last month.

emily_asteroid_comparison

Phil Plait Phil Plait

Phil Plait writes Slate’s Bad Astronomy blog and is an astronomer, public speaker, science evangelizer, and author of Death From the Skies!  

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The arrow points to the new addition of Hartley 2. It's tiny! Well, compared to Lutetia, an asteroid well over 100 km across. Mind you, this chart shows every asteroid and comet we've ever visited and photographed with spacecraft! That's 14 in total; I don't know whether to be amazed that it's that many, or sad that it isn't more. Maybe a little of both. But Dawn will visit the asteroids Ceres and Vesta starting next year. More comets are coming up too, which means more incredible pictures and important science is coming up in the near future, too. And that's definitely good news.



Here are some other images of the comet Hartley 2. Use the thumbnails and arrows to browse, and click on the images to go through to blog posts with more details and descriptions.