The 7 Strangest Trojan Asteroids
This is the story of seven of the solar system’s strangest Trojan asteroids:
An asteroid is the name given to rocks or particles that orbit the sun. The definition is very broad, in part because of the fact that asteroids vary in size and composition. They can be tiny dust particles, or they can be hundreds of kilometers in diameter.
Most asteroids are located in what is known as the asteroid belt. This area between Jupiter and Mars contains many remnants of the gas and particles that resulted from the solar system?s formation over 4.6 billion years ago.
Trojan asteroids follow a planet?s orbit. Trojans are held in the orbit at the planet?s Lagrangian points by the gravitational pull of two larger bodies. Jupiter has the largest number of Trojans, with the possibility of hundreds or thousands of asteroids located in its orbit.
Scientists have identified four asteroids in Mars? orbit, and they recently discovered one asteroid that follows Earth?s orbital path. Scientists believe that Trojan asteroids are pulled into the orbit by the planet?s gravitational pull. The asteroids may also be pulled out of the orbit from another planet?s pull, or they could be knocked out by a collision.
Scientists recently discovered what they believe to be Earth?s first Trojan asteroid. It is currently called 2010 TK7, and they will gather more information before giving it a formal name. Little is known about 2010 TK7.
This is the story of seven of the solar system's strangest Trojan asteroids:
APOPHIS: the asteroid that could smash into the Earth sometime in 2029 or 2036.
BAPTISTINA: the asteroid which was thought to have caused the extinction of Dinosaurs.
CERES: the biggest asteroid in the Solar System orbiting at an average distance of 413 million km from the Sun.
HEKTOR: the Biggest Trojan asteroid was discovered in 1907.
KLEOPATRA: a Metal Dog Bone with moons. Kleopatra has two moons, which were named Alexhelios and Cleoselene earlier this year.
THEMIS: a large main belt asteroid stands out as the first and only asteroid known thus far to have ice on its surface.
TOUTATIS: asteroid Toutatis is one of the oddest space rocks and approaches Earth on December 12, 2012.