Technology The "strange object" on Jupiter's orbit that has amazed...

The “strange object” on Jupiter’s orbit that has amazed astronomers

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The appearance of the Trojan horse was a climactic moment in the tragic end of that legendary city in the epic ‘Iliad’. And now, on Jupiter, a Trojan has attracted fascination, in this case from astronomers, for its unusual behavior.

Scientists have identified an object with strange activity located in the line of Jupiter’s orbit. It is the first time that such a thing has been witnessed and although it has nothing to do with UFOs or aliens it has caused significant fascination.

The active asteroid 2019LD2 began to eject material and created a small cometary tail. It is located in the group of asteroids called Jupiter Trojans, located on the path of Jupiter's orbit. (UH-ATLAS)

The active asteroid 2019LD2 began to eject material and created a small cometary tail. It is located in the group of asteroids called Jupiter Trojans, located on the path of Jupiter’s orbit. (UH-ATLAS)

The phenomenon has a name: 2019LD2 and it is one of the asteroids, called Jupiter Trojans, that are located just in the line of the orbit of that planet, some of them in a group “in front” of the planet in its journey around the sun and another group “behind”. Jupiter has thousands of those Trojans, although other planets do too. Earth has at least one Trojan asteroid that follows the same path of its orbit around the sun.

<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "As discussed in GizmodoThese Trojans are inert, boulders that accumulated in their current position by the pull of Jupiter’s gravity hundreds of millions of years ago. But 2019LD2 is the only one of those asteroids that is active: it appears to be shedding material and has a sort of small tail like comets. “Data-reactid =” 35 “> As discussed in GizmodoThese Trojans are inert, boulders that accumulated in their current position by the pull of Jupiter’s gravity hundreds of millions of years ago. But 2019LD2 is the only one of those asteroids that is active – it appears to be shedding material and has a sort of small tail like comets.

This active asteroid, which would be somewhat of an object midway between asteroid and comet, is the only one of its kind that has been identified among the Jupiter Trojans, although that type has been identified in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. of active objects. The one known as 6478 Gault is singular for having suddenly developed two kite tails in early 2019 due to the expulsion of material that it began to record.

<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "Astronomers of the Final Alert System for the Impact of Asteroids on Earth (ATLAS) of the University of Hawaii, a NASA-funded entity that is dedicated to tracking identifying and tracking with its telescopes objects that could enter a collision route with our planet, discovered 2019LD2 in June last year. And although that asteroid is not among those that could unleash the ominous threat that ATLAS studies, it certainly caught their attention, since active asteroids are rare. “Data-reactid =” 37 “> Astronomers of the Final Alert System for the Impact of Asteroids on Earth (ATLAS) of the University of Hawaii, a NASA-funded entity that is dedicated to tracking identifying and tracking with its telescopes objects that could enter a collision route with our planet, discovered 2019LD2 in June last year. And although that asteroid is not among those that could unleash the ominous threat that ATLAS studies, it certainly caught their attention enormously, as active asteroids are rare.

And 2019 LD2 is the first of them identified among Jupiter Trojans.

An artistic illustration that imagines Jupiter’s two groups of Trojan asteroids, one “in front” of its orbital line and the other “behind”. (Getty Creative)

However, it is not clear why the 2019LD2 was activated. According to Gizmodo, asteroids are usually devoid of volatile materials on their surface such as those that generate cometary tails, and therefore an explanation in this case is that for some reason material inside the asteroid would have been exposed and generated that tail.

<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "Alan Fitzsimmons, astronomer quoted in a statement by ATLAS, comments that it is believed that large accumulations of ice could be found inside Trojan asteroids, and the activity of 2019 LD2 would be an indication of this. “data-reactid =” 60 “> Alan Fitzsimmons, astronomer quoted in a statement by ATLAS, comments that it is believed that large accumulations of ice could be inside the Trojan asteroids, and the activity of the 2019 LD2 would be an indication of this.

The interior material of that asteroid could have been exposed by a collapse or collision with another asteroid and also, it is claimed, it could be a wandering asteroid of recent arrival to the group of Trojans of Jupiter and, therefore, its composition could be different from rest.

Research on this asteroid is underway, and a NASA mission, with a probe that could be launched just to study Jupiter Trojans between 2027 and 2033, Gizmodo says, will have a unique opportunity to study the unusual asteroid in greater detail. active 2019 LD2.

That unique Jupiter Trojan will presumably be of special interest in that mission.

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