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By observing a asteroid, NASA has discovered an intriguing object

By flying over the asteroid Dinkinesh, the Lucy probe discovered that it has a small natural satellite. But a simple change of angle of view revealed a new surprise!

While the Lucy probe, on its way to Jupiter, continues to transmitting its photos of the asteroid Dinkinesh, NASA scientists are not at the end of their surprises. Indeed, the spacecraft had made it possible to discover that this asteroid was accompanied by of a natural satellite: a small rocky body evolving in orbit around it. But a new cliché revealed a new curiosity: this satellite is in fact composed of of two small contiguous asteroids which revolve together around Dinkinesh! A new configuration that intrigues scientists…

The first photograph transmitted by the space probe made it possible to distinguish a second asteroid located near the Earth. behind Dinkinesh. Scientists concluded that it was a natural satellite of the latter, which already constituted a possibility. a surprise in itself, especially since the shooting was only a simple test for which the asteroid had been used. chosen as target. But six minutes after its first photograph, the probe which was continuing its route realized a second photo From another angle. And… new surprise: it is not one but two small asteroids in contact with each other (what we call a contact asteroid ) which appeared, orbiting around Dinkinesh. The second small rock body was simply hidden from view. behind the first one on the initial image.

Observing an asteroid, NASA has discovered an intriguing object

The angle of the first shot does not allow us to see the third asteroid, hidden from view. behind the second. © /AP/SIPA (published 09/11/2023)

Asteroids are fascinating objects in the solar system and this double asteroid is currently a mystery of science. Astronomers have their work cut out for them to explain this completely different conformation. astonishing fact. Astrophysicist Patrick Michel enthuses "In short, it's a very exciting surprise. But, as always, nature likes to challenge us. Finding an explanation is going to take a little time, some thought, and probably a little more data." reports the magazine Ciel & Space.

According to NASA, this is the first contact asteroid in orbit ever observed. This type of object is very interesting to see. observing and studying it will allow us to better understand the processes that lead to the formation of surprising asteroids. Indeed, what appears to be a cosmic oddity could actually be a cosmic oddity. be much more common than we imagine. "Contact binaries appear to be quite common in the solar system." thus declared John Spencer, Deputy Lucy Project Scientist. The surprises are just beginning!

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116