NASA, ESA, and Z. Levay (STScI)
Astronomers, after studying the spectral properties of an asteroid orbiting in astronomy, believe that it was a piece that separated from the moon earlier.
And publication studying In Icarus, she noted that the asteroid 101429 (1998 VF31) belongs to the group of Trojan asteroids – these are small celestial bodies located 60 degrees in front and behind the planets. Astronomers have discovered at the present time 7681 asteroids of this type, 7642 of which are in the orbit of Jupiter, and nine in the orbit of Mars, all of them except for the asteroid 101429 belong to the so-called Eureka family, which includes the asteroid 5261 Eureka and the group of rocky bodies that separated from it.
Astronomers at the Arma Observatory in Northern Ireland have decided to find out why the asteroid 101429 has a separate location, using the X-SHOOTER spectrometer, installed in the VLT telescope of the European Southern Observatory in Chile, and it became clear to researchers that the spectrum of this asteroid differs from other asteroids, and its similarity with the spectrum of the moon.
“It turns out that the spectrum of this asteroid is almost identical to those parts of the moon where there are exposed basic rocks, such as the inner parts of craters and mountains,” said astrophysicist Galina Borisova.
Lead author adds To study“The shape of the solar system in the beginning was very different from what we see today, and the space between newly formed planets was filled with debris, so collisions were a natural phenomenon.”
The large asteroids collided with the moon and other planets constantly, so it is possible that a piece of the moon had separated as a result of these collisions, and then reached the orbit of Mars, when the planet was still in the formation stage, and was picked up by a cloud of Trojan asteroids.
Some scientists believe that this asteroid 101429 separated from Mars as a result of a severe collision, and with the passage of time and exposure to solar erosion factors, it acquired a spectrum similar to that of the moon.
In order to reach a final conclusion in this regard, the scientists decided to continue studying this asteroid using more powerful spectroscopy devices, and additional information could be obtained from missions heading towards Mars in the future.