Science

New Trojan asteroid found in Earth orbit

The researchers informed that the Earth now shares its orbit with a new Trojan asteroid.

New Trojan asteroid found in Earth orbit
Photo: from open sources
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The space body was named 2020 XL5. This is the second such Trojan asteroid. Its discovery may mean that Trojans may be more common than previously thought. These asteroids are present in the vicinity of Lagrange points L4 and L5, and therefore in the 1:1 orbital resonance of any planets or their satellites.

Astronomers predict that the 2020 XL5, which is about 1.2 km in size, will last at least 4000 years before disintegrating into pieces and scattering through space. Another Earth Trojan, called 2010 TK7, is about 300 meters in diameter. It will be pushed out of its current orbit in about 15,000 years.

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Experts hope to find more Earth Trojans. It will probably be more cost-effective to reach some of them than the Moon.

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