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Trojan Asteroids

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

Source: IE

 

Context: NASA’s Lucy mission has captured its first images of the Jupiter and Trojan asteroids using its high-resolution L’LORRI camera

 

What are Trojan asteroids?

Trojan asteroids are a group of asteroids that share Jupiter’s orbit around the sun. There are two groups of Trojan asteroids, the “Greeks,” which lead Jupiter in its orbit, and the “Trojans,” which follow behind it.

 

 

Significance: These asteroids are believed to be ancient remnants from the early days of the solar system, and studying them can provide insight into the formation and evolution of the planets. They hold clues to the formation of our solar system as they are gravitationally stable for billions of years.

 

About Lucy mission

The Lucy mission is a 12-year-long solar-powered mission to study eight asteroids, covering a distance of over 6 billion km, to deepen the understanding of the “young solar system”. The mission is named after ‘Lucy’ (a 3.2-million-year-old species of hominins).

The mission is designed to understand the composition of the diverse asteroids that are a part of the Trojan asteroid swarms. It is the first spacecraft to be sent to study these Trojan asteroids up close.