Studying the stars, Gaia space telescope discovered three unknown asteroid
Gaia space telescope of the European Space Agency is intended for entirely different purposes. Its main task is to observe the stars, to clarify the history of the emergence and development of our galaxy. Nevertheless, the unit as a side function also monitors the asteroids of the solar system. And recently, this work has borne fruit. Telescope unearthed three asteroid, previously unknown to astronomers. The latter are space rocks left over from the time of the formation of our solar system.
The scientists believe that the study of these cosmic boulders can tell them about how the solar system looked like billions of years ago, before the planets formed from the material around the sun. As pointed out by Space.com portal, Gaia telescope discovered three unknown asteroid in December 2018. Further observation of objects with the help of ground-based telescope and observatory of Haute Provence (France) helped confirm their nature.
This image shows the orbits over 14,000 known asteroids located between Mars and Jupiter. They are marked with bright red and orange, dark red colors indicate Trojan asteroids are located in the orbit of Jupiter. Yellow marked near-Earth asteroids - so called those bodies with orbits that in some areas are at 1, 3 astronomical units from the Sun, that is close to Earth's orbit. The orbits of the three newly discovered asteroid Gaia grayed out It is noted that the "trinity" is the unusual trajectory of movement within the solar system. Their peculiarity is that the inclination of the orbit is more than 15 degrees relative to the plane of the orbits of most planets.
"Asteroids with a large slope is not as well understood as less inclined orbits, as most studies tend to focus on the plane, where most of the asteroids," - said in a statement, ESA.
"At the same time, Gaia can easily watch them, as the telescope scans the sky with his observation point in space, so it is possible that the device will be able to find more similar objects in the future and bring new information for the study of their properties."
Gaia helps clarify the parameters of the orbits of asteroids, as well as alerts on their location, speed and direction detailing what helps services, overseeing a small celestial bodies. In support of this work involves several observatories on Earth who respond to Gaia alerts. As indicated in the ESA statement for these observations is usually required telescope mirror whose diameter is at least 1 meter.
Upon confirmation of the object Gaia telescope and ground stations, it catalogs the Minor Planet Center, which is responsible for collecting data about asteroids, comets and other small celestial bodies. Even if Gaia does not find other new asteroids, observation telescope can tell astronomers more about the orbits of the asteroids that are already known.
"To date, several dozen asteroids observed Gaia telescope, have been confirmed by ground tracking stations. However, they all belong to the main asteroid belt. But no one is excluded the possibility that the telescope will be able in the future to discover new near-Earth asteroids, "- summarizes the ESA report.
It was reported earlier that Gaia helped to more accurately calculate the mass of the Milky Way.
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