A space probe called NASA LucyHe discovered an asteroid in the solar system orbiting its own small satellite, which could be called a “mini-moon.”
The discovery was made on November 1 when the investigation took place Lucy He was flying over the asteroid named Dinkenish and discovered that this piece of space rock had a lunar companion.
“Dinkenesh” is a loan name from an Amharic word (from Ethiopia) – meaning “You are wonderful” – for the fossil of Lucy, a female Australopithecus more than three million years old (found in Ethiopia in 1974), which in turn gives the name of the NASA mission that flew Above this asteroid. “Just as Lucy’s fossil has provided unique insights into human evolution, so does the mission Lucy It promises to expand our knowledge of planetary origins. NASA Highlights.
The asteroid is located in the main asteroid belt behind Mars. The first data and photos you sent Lucy The Earth revealed that the diameter of the asteroid is about 790 metres, and that the size of the body it orbits is only 220 metres.
Launched in 2021, Lucy The probe flew over “Dinkinish” in a kind of training, and later visited the largest and most mysterious asteroids near Jupiter, which are the main goals of the mission. The space probe is estimated to reach the first of these asteroids, called Trojans, in 2027 and should explore them for at least six years.
“Dinkenish has truly lived up to his name; this is remarkable,” Hal Levison, the mission’s principal investigator, said in a NASA statement. “When Lucy Originally selected for the flyby, we planned to fly by seven asteroids. He added: “With the addition of Dinkenish and the two Trojan satellites and now this satellite, our number has increased to 11.”
Although this encounter was conducted as an engineering test, scientists on the team are excited to analyze the data to gain insight into the nature of small asteroids.
“We knew this would be the smallest main belt asteroid ever seen up close,” mission scientist Keith Noll said. Lucy, quoted by NASA. “The fact that there are two of them makes it even more exciting. In some ways, these asteroids are similar to the binary near-Earth asteroid system Didymos and Demorphus observed by the DART mission, but there are some interesting differences that we will investigate.”
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