Earth Trojan Asteroid
The Trojan asteroids are those asteroids that share a common orbit with a planet in the solar system. These rocks circle the same star as that of the planet in the same path. So far only one Trojan asteroid was known to revolve in earth’s orbit. It was called 2010 TK7. Recently astronomers have found another Trojan asteroid revolving in the earth’s orbit. It has been named 2020 XL5. With this discovery, the astronomers have concluded that there are lot more earth Trojan asteroids.
About 2020 XL5
- The 2020 XL5 earth Trojan asteroid was spotted using the Pan – STARRS 1 survey telescope located in Hawaii.
- The asteroid has been added to the Minor Planet Center database of International Astronomical Union.
- The asteroid orbits L4. L4 is the fourth Earth – sun Lagrange point. Lagrange point is gravitationally balanced region around the sun and the star.
It is a NASA mission to explore the Jupiter Trojan Asteroids. The mission will understand the composition of the asteroid swarms. It will find out mass and density of the materials. It will help scientists to understand the origin and evolution of these asteroids. The mission is to work for 12 years.
Trojans of other planets
Any celestial body that is following the orbit of another celestial body is referred to as Trojan. It is not necessary that they should be asteroids. Jupiter has more than one million Trojans. Mars has only nine Trojans, Uranus has two, Neptune has 28 and mother earth has two.
The same concept of Trojan occurs in moons as well. Here the primary celestial body is the planet and the secondary is one of its moons. The Saturn has Trojan moons. The Trojans of Tethys are Telesto and Caplypso. The Trojans of Dione are Helene and Polydeuces.
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