Planets have their own moons, this is common knowledge for science. For example- Moon of our Earth, Moon of Jupiter, Europa etc. But asteroids can also have moons, which seems a bit shocking.
Scientists have discovered an asteroid that has its own moon. The name of this asteroid is Polymele, which is a Trojan asteroid. NASA scientists have obtained this information with the help of Lucy spacecraft, which went on missions to 8 different asteroids in space. While fixing the defect in the solar panels of this aircraft, scientists detected the asteroid’s moon.
This is a big achievement for Lucy Spacecraft. According to NASA,The spacecraft is on a journey to study the earliest remnants of our solar system’s formation. In a statement, NASA said that asteroids are important for understanding the history of our solar system.
Lucy Spacecraft’s team primarily planned to visit one Belt asteroid and six Trojan asteroids. They revolve around the Sun in their orbit following the planet Jupiter. Astronomers have been studying polymale for some time. On 27 March this year, he discovered its moon. This discovery was made when the asteroid passed in front of a star. During this, scientists came to know about the asteroid’s moon. It was about 200 km (about 124 mi) from Polymel. It is estimated that the diameter of the asteroid’s satellite is about 5 kilometers.
When this asteroid was sighted in March, it was 770 million kilometers away from Earth. NASA is now planning to add this lunar asteroid as well to the list of mission objectives of the Lucy spacecraft. Lucy Spacecraft was launched in October last year.
Asteroids are also called minor planets. As all the planets in our solar system revolve around the Sun, so also the asteroids revolve around the Sun. Asteroids are the rocky remnants left over from the early formation of our Solar System, about 4.6 billion years ago. Scientists have so far detected 11 lakh 13 thousand 527 asteroids.