A distant Star Seriously last in the wake Tue. Seen in more detail than ever before, and the closeness bears a striking resemblance – one that raises some interesting questions about the ancient origins of the thing.
The planet in question is called (101429) 1998 VF31, Part of a group of Trojan asteroids that are sharing the orbit of Mars.
Trojans are heavenly bodies Which fall into the gravitational equilibrium zone around the other planets located 60 degrees in front of and behind the planet.
What’s interesting is that (101429) 1998 VF31 (forward ‘101429’) is a Trojan with a red planet background (people who walk behind Mars as it orbits the sun), 101429 looks unique.
The rest of the group, called the L5 Martian Trojan, all belong to what is known as the Eureka family. 5261 Eureka – Discovered by the first Trojan on Tuesday – and a bunch of tiny pieces, believed to be loose from their parent space rock.
101429 is different, however, and in one New study Led by astronomers from the Arma Observatory and Planetarium (AOP) in Northern Ireland, the researchers wanted to investigate why this happened.
Using an X-shooter spectrograph on an 8-meter giant telescope (VLT) at the European Southern Observatory in Chile, the team examined how sunlight in the Eureka family represents 101429 and its L5 relatives. Only, it seems that 101429 and Eureka tribes are not the most relative, the analysis shows that 101429 represents an eye match for a satellite very close to home.
“The spectrum of this particular planet looks almost like a dead-ring to some parts of the moon where the interior of the excavation and the mountain-like pillars are.” Explains A.O.P.
Although we are still not sure why this is the case, the researchers said that it is possible to believe that this Martian Trojan originated far away from the Red Planet, with 101429 being the “symbolic piece of the original solid crust of the moon”. Indicates.
If so, how did the moon’s long-lost twin end up as a Trojan tied to Mars?
“So the solar system was very different from the place we see today.” Explains The lead author of the study was Apostolos Cristo, an astronomer from AOP.
“The space between the newly formed planets was filled with debris, and collisions were common. Big stars [planetesimals] The Moon and the other planets could have reached a sharp Mars orbit from such a collision while the planet was still forming and trapped in its Trojan clouds. ”
It’s a fascinating idea, but researchers say it’s not just an explanation of the past of 101429. It is possible, and perhaps more likely, that Trojan represents a fragment of Mars through a similar event affecting the Red Planet; Or it could be a normal ship that was wiped out by the weathering processes of solar radiation, looking like the moon.
Further observations with more powerful spectrographs may be able to shed more light on this question of space parenting, such as future spacecraft travel, Says the team“Which, in the way of Trojan, can get spectra for direct comparison with the data of the planets Mars or Moon”.
As stated in the findings Icarus.