Saturday, July 30, 2011

Earth Trojan Asteroid

This Earth trojan asteroid has been recently discovered. Trojan objects typically orbit one of the stable Lagrange points, L4 and L5, and to a lesser degree L1, L2, L3. I posted a cool animation showing this for Jupiter previously. What's interesting about this find is that it seems this asteroid is in a weird oscillating orbit moving between L3 and L4. I've never heard of anything doing that before, but orbital mechanics gets very chaotic in actual space with lots of other planets and the moon around. The simple theory of the Lagrange points is all well and good, but this looks just weird.

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