Science

We Asked a NASA Scientist: What Are the Trojan Asteroids?

What is a Trojan asteroid? For billions of years, these mysterious space rocks have been trapped in Jupiter’s orbit around the sun by gravity, which contains clues to the formation of our solar system. NASA’s Lucy mission will be the first spacecraft to carefully study these ancient ruins. Lucy’s Northern Arizona University scientist Audrey Martin (Audrey Martin) has detailed information.

What is a Trojan asteroid? Let’s start more than 4 billion years ago, when the newly formed solar system was composed of trillions of small rocks and icy objects. Many of these objects gathered together to form planets. Most of the others are scattered within the confines of our solar system, but not all.

Some of these remaining space rocks are primitive asteroids, which now orbit Jupiter in two huge groups, driving and following Jupiter. They are called Trojan asteroids. They are really mysterious, we think they come from the outer solar system. They are also special in understanding the evolution of the solar system, because they have remained stable over billions of years of gravitation. Astronomers can only study these remote and mysterious small celestial bodies on the earth, but all this is about to change.

NASA’s Lucy mission recently launched a 12-year journey to visit these primitive asteroids. This will be the first time we have seen these objects up close!

So what is a Trojan asteroid? They are asteroids that orbit the sun along with Jupiter and eventually contain clues about the formation of our solar system.

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