Asteroid with its own Moon found

Days after Nasa fixed the faulty solar panels on the Lucy spacecraft headed to eight different asteroids in space, the probe’s team has already detected a unique system – an asteroid with its own moon. Astronomers have found that the smallest of the mission’s Trojan asteroid targets, Polymele, has its own satellite. The latest finding adds one more target to Lucy’s mission, which is journeying into deep space to study the primordial remnants of the formation of our solar system, which could give deep insights into the formation of Earth and other planets around the Sun. “Asteroids hold vital clues to deciphering the history of the solar system perhaps even the origins of life and solving these mysteries is a high priority. The Lucy team originally planned to visit one main belt asteroid and six Trojan asteroids, a previously unexplored population of asteroids that lead and follow Jupiter in its orbit around the Sun,” Nasa said in a statement. Astronomers were studying Polymele for a while when, on March 27, they discovered its own moonlet. The discovery was made when the asteroid passed in front of a star, allowing the team to observe the star blink out as the asteroid briefly blocked the light in a process known as occultation.

Source: India Today

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