2010 TK7: First Asteroid Companion of Earth discovered

By on Jul 28, 2011 in Astronomy, Science, South America, United States, World Comments


Earth’s orbit and asteroid 2010 TK7
Image Credit: Paul Wiegert, The University of Western Ontario

The asteroid called as 2010 TK7 is the first companion asteroid of earth that has now been discovered by NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) satellite according to several international reports on Wednesday, July 27, 2011.

As noted on reports, the asteroid is 1,000 feet (300 meters) near across and currently in front of the earth at about 50 million miles (80 million kilometers).

Furthermore, researchers said that asteroid 2010 TK7 is first categorized as Earth’s Trojans, a family of space rocks that could be easier to reach than the moon, though its other members were more distant.

Though asteroid 2010 TK7 is the earth’s first Trojan asteroid, apparently, its tadpole orbit is unusually large where at times, it takes nearly as far as the opposite side of the sun from the earth.

Mr. Martin Connors, an astronomer at Athabasca University in Canada and a co-author of the study was quoted saying, “This one has behavior much more interesting than I thought we would find. It seems to do things not seen for Trojans before. Still, it had to have some kind of extreme behavior to move it far enough from its Lagrangian point to get within our view.”

According to reports, Connors and his team used data from NEOWISE, which was named after Near-Earth Objects and WISE when they began their search for an earth Trojan.



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