In the Stars: 1,700 New Asteroids Found in Old Files

Astronomers have unearthed traces of more than 1,700 new asteroids found by the Hubble Space Telescope but hidden in its files for 20 years.

Artificial intelligence has helped scientists discover a total of 1,701 new asteroid trails which could unlock the secrets of how Earth was formed.

Experts from the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics (MPE) in Munich, Germany, the Autonomous University of Madrid, and the Astronomical Institute of the Romanian Academy collaborated on the discovery.

In this Hubble observation taken on December 5, 2005 the Main Belt asteroid 2001 SE101 asses in front of the Crab Nebula. (NASA, ESA HST, Melina Thеvenot/Zenger)

According to the MPE, about two-thirds of the newly discovered objects were previously unknown to the scientific community as they were observed to be likely smaller than asteroids found in ground-based surveys.

However, despite their size, the astronomers are certain these could help them obtain important clues about the early solar system and the formation of planets.

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