According to a recent study, a lost twins of the moon were found to be following Mars.
The 3,280-foot-wide asteroid named (101429) 1998 VF31 was first discovered 22 years ago and new analysis shows it is ‘astonishingly similar’ to the moon.
Scientists from the Armagh Observatory and Observatory (AOP) in Northern Ireland used the Southern European Observatory (ESO) and the Very Large Telescope (VLT) to study space rocks.
The study’s lead author, Dr. Apostolos Christou from AOP, believes it may be a part of the moon that was broken up by a major impact during the formative years of the Solar System, about four billion years ago.
However, while the rock̵7;s origin may be from the moon, the team says it’s also possible that it came from the Martian surface.
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The asteroid is a Mars Trojan that orbits the Sun while following the red planet at an angle of about 60 degrees from the Sun, at a point known as Lagrange. These are positions in the orbits of a planet, where the gravity of the Sun and the planet is in balance, allowing a rock to stay in a static position. L4 is ahead of Mars and L5, where VF31 is located, is behind Mars
Dr. Christou has been studying the space rock using a technique called spectroscopic matching.
He told MailOnline: “It’s similar to the image recognition done by the police in pursuit of a crook, where you try to match your data – spectral records – with the same kind of data taken from objects. other bodies, such as other asteroids or meteorites.
‘None of these matches was particularly gratifying until we included the spectrum of the Moon in our analysis. The similarity to the parts of the Moon’s surface is remarkable. ”
The asteroids are part of a group known as the Mars Trojan, and their origin is a long-standing astronomical mystery.
They orbit the Sun while following the red planet at an angle of about 60 degrees from the Sun, L5, or 60 degrees in front of Mars, L4.
For example, if Mars reaches a point in its orbit that is considered the same as 12 o’clock on the clock face, then the Trojan will be at two o’clock.
They stayed in this position because they were trapped at Lagrange Point, a region of space where the gravitational forces of different celestial bodies were balanced.
As a result, they never go around Mars and always lurk behind it, following the planet.
Research sponsored by the UK Science and Technology Facility (STFC) found that VF31 was very different in composition from all other Mars Trojans.
Dr Chrisotu told MailOnline, this was surprising. None of the other Trojans have any resemblance to the moon, making this object unique.
The team speculates that the moon may have been hit by an asteroid, known as the planet, that caused VF31 to be separated from the surface.
“The early solar system was very different from where we see it today,” said Dr. Christou.
‘The space between newly formed planets is filled with debris and collisions is normal.
‘Large asteroids – we call these planets – have collided with the Moon and other planets.
‘A debris from such a collision could have reached Mars’ orbit while the planet was still forming and trapped in its Troy clouds.’
Although researchers cannot conclude that the space rock is the moon’s debris, the evidence is compelling.
To test whether asteroids less than a kilometer in diameter could have originated from the moon and ended up in Mars orbit, the researchers counted the numbers.
Previous studies showed that in order for a rock to escape the gravity of the moon, it would have to travel at 2.4 km / s (5,368 miles / hour).
To then orbit the Sun, it would have to travel at a minimum speed of 3.5 km / s (7,829 mph).
It is possible that a piece of rock about one kilometer in diameter would travel at this speed if the moon was hit by a bullet of at least 125 km (77 mils) in size, traveling at 10 km. / s (22.369 mph).
Such a monumental collision would create a crater measuring 974 kilometers (604 miles) across.
In order for a rock to leave the lunar surface to escape the gravitational pull of the moon and into solar orbit, it required the moon to be hit by a bullet that was at least 125km (77 mils) in size. transport at 10 km / s (22,369 miles / hour). This will create a crater measuring 974 km (604 miles), much smaller than the Aitken crater (pictured) on the other side of the moon, which is far larger than this. This proves that at least there might be asteroids coming from the moon
Astronomers say a 1km-wide asteroid named (101429) 1998 VF31 was first discovered 22 years ago and new analysis shows it is ‘very similar’ to the moon, astronomers said (stock)
The researchers write in their study, published today in the journal Icarus: “It is significantly smaller than the size of the largest lunar basin, so this scenario is at least plausible.
Although no other asteroid has been discovered that could be an ancient ruin of the moon, researchers believe there may be many undiscovered moon ‘twins’.
“It is plausible to expect that if there is one there can be more than that,” said Dr. Christou.
‘However, in order to preserve those objects for 4 billion years to this day, they need to be trapped very early in the same “safe shelters” along the orbits of neighboring planets. , Mars or Earth.
‘Maybe there are some other asteroids out there that look exactly like this; So far we have not found it. But we will continue to search. ”
WHAT IS LANGUAGE SCORE?
The Lagrange point is a point in space where the combined gravitational force of two large bodies is equal to the centrifugal force of another body.
The way the forces interact creates a net directional force of zero and allows an object to stand still in space.
These points are named after Joseph-Louis Lagrange, an 18th-century mathematician who wrote about them in 1772.
the principal celestial bodies have five points – marked L1, L2, L3 L4 and L5.
L1, L2 and L3 are all unstable because they completely rely on fragile equilibrium.
L4 and L5 are much more stable.
L1 – Between two objects. This position between the sun and the Earth is currently occupied by SOHO – the Sun and Heliospheric Observatory and the Deep Space Climate Observatory.
L2 – The second location is one million miles outside the earth and in the opposite direction to the sun. The area is currently occupied by NASA’s Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropic Probe (WMAP) and will be the target area for the upcoming James Web telescope.
L3 – This point is behind the sun and far from Earth. This location remains, so far, unused.
L4 and L5 – They are located along the orbit of the Earth 60 degrees in front and behind the Earth.
Nasa created four concepts and said they would likely be located at L2 – an astronomical position one million miles outside of Earth and in the opposite direction to the sun.