Large asteroids were now accurately described


The large VLT telescope in Chile has photographed its 42 large targets from the asteroid zone. The European Southern Observatory (Eso) released the images on Tuesday.

Between Mars and Jupiter is an asteroid belt whose large objects have not previously been described so sharply throughout.

The images reveal a spectrum of asteroids of different shapes, from spherical to one that resembles a dog’s chew bone.

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Equally, all images help astronomers studying the origins of asteroids in our solar system. The exact 42 images are a big step forward in the study of asteroids, say European astronomers.

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Only three asteroids, the largest Ceres and Vesta and the smaller Lutet, have been described up close in the past.

U.S. Space Administration Nasan Dawn Sonar described I will cover the surface in July 2011 and on the same trip to Ceres in March 2015.

Rosetta, the European Space Agency’s Esa probe, visited depicting the asteroid Lutetian in July 2010.

“Now, other large targets have been sharply detected with Eso’s equipment, a total of 42,” he explained in the bulletin Pierre Vernazza from the Laboratory of Astrophysics in Marseille, France. He led the descriptions.

The photos were released on Tuesday scientific journal Astronomy & Astrophysics.

Vernazza and his group thoroughly described large asteroids in 2017–2019.

One of the brightest telescopes in the world helped with the shooting, Very Large Telescope eli VLT. The images reveal the essential properties of asteroids, such as their exact three-dimensional shape. Their density can also be deduced from the images.

Most of the rock sites are over a hundred kilometers in diameter.

With the Chilean telescope, I was now able to describe almost all asteroids with a diameter of more than 200 kilometers. Of these, 20 were described when 23 are known.

The diameters of the largest asteroids, Ceres and Vesta, are about 940 and 520 kilometers.

The two smallest asteroids described are Auson and Urania, each about 90 kilometers in diameter.

The observed asteroids can be divided into two families. Some of the big ones are almost completely spherical, like Hygiea and Ceres.

The shape of others is more special, elongated. The most interesting of these asteroids is Cleopatra. It resembles a dog’s chew bone.

When data on the mass of asteroids were combined with image shapes, astronomers noticed how the densities of large rocks vary significantly.

The density of the four least dense asteroids is about 1.3 grams per cubic centimeter. It is roughly the elemental carbon density. These include Lamberta and Sylvia, among others.

Among the denser asteroids are Psyche and Kalliope. Their densities are 3.9 and 4.4 grams per cubic centimeter, while, for example, a diamond has an average density of 3.5 grams per cubic centimeter.

The large differences in densities suggest that the composition of asteroids varies very much.

The composition, in turn, provides astronomers with many clues as to the origin of asteroids.

“These differences can only be understood as meaning that the objects come from different areas of the solar system,” says the participant in the filming. Josef Hanuš From Charles University in Prague.

The measured densities support the theory that the least dense asteroids were originally formed elsewhere, beyond Neptune’s orbit.

Over time, they have moved to their current location between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter.


Source: Tiede by www.tiede.fi.

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