NASA reveals shocking twist in Asteroid Dinkinesh tale!

NASA’s Lucy spacecraft reveals shocking finding of asteroid Dinkinesh! Says its not one but 2 asteroids.

| Updated on: Nov 03 2023, 17:33 IST
5 asteroids to pass close to Earth at fearsome speeds today! Know details
1/5 Asteroid 2023 JF - Asteroid 2023 JF will pass Earth today, November 3. During its approach, it will come as close as 5.8 million kilometers to the planet. According to NASA, the space rock is almost 120 feet wide and is travelling at a speed of almost 61744 kilometers per hour. (Pixabay)
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2/5 Asteroid 2023 QP8 – The second asteroid on its way is designated Asteroid 2023 QP8, and it will pass by Earth today, November 3. According to NASA, this space rock has a width of nearly 590 feet. Its orbit will take it almost as close as 6.5 million kilometers to the planet’s surface while moving at a speed of 31815 kilometers per hour. (Pixabay)
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3/5 Asteroid 2016 VW2 – Yet another space rock named Asteroid 2016 VW2 will also pass Earth today, November 3. In terms of size, the asteroid is almost 65 feet wide. As per NASA, it will come as close as 3.8 million kilometers and is already moving at a speed of 29166 kilometers per hour. (Pixabay)
4/5 Asteroid 2019 UH7 – Asteroid 2019 UH7 will pass by Earth tomorrow, November 4. During its close approach, it will come as close as 3.8 million kilometers to the planet’s surface. With a width of just 36 feet, the space rock is speeding towards Earth at 21377 kilometers per hour. (Pixabay)
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5/5 Asteroid 2023 TL31 – Another asteroid designated Asteroid 2023 TL31 will pass Earth tomorrow, November 4. According to NASA, this 91 feet wide asteroid is travelling at almost 33092 kilometers per hour and will pass the planet at a distance of 3.1 million kilometers. (Pixabay)
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Check what NASA's Lucy mission found about asteroid Dinkinesh. (Pixabay)

Two for the price of one! NASA has just made a shocking revelation. NASA's Lucy mission, designed to study Jupiter's Trojan asteroids which recently flew close by Asteroid Dinkinesh, revealed some surprising results. This Trojan asteroid had a huge secret that was finally exposed. The Lucy Mission spacecraft took images that found that the asteroid Dinkinesh is not just one asteroid. In fact, it is a binary pair floating in the orbit of Jupiter. Know more about the astonishing Asteroid Dinkinesh discovery here.

Asteroid Dinkinesh

According to a report published by NASA, scientists earlier speculated that the asteroid Dinkinesh was a binary pair, now the images revealed by the Lucy spacecraft instruments confirm the claims. The study based on preliminary analysis of the available images said that the asteroid is a close binary and the estimated sizes of the objects are approximately 790 meters and 220 meters. Hal Levison, principal investigator for the Lucy mission said that the asteroid Dinkinesh matches its meaning of “marvellous” and added, “When Lucy was originally selected for flight, we planned to fly by seven asteroids. With the addition of Dinkinesh, two Trojan moons, and now this satellite, we've turned it up to 11.”

NASA reported that the discovery was part of an in-flight engineering test of the spacecraft and the two asteroid encounter was something that has excited the researchers even more. These binary pairs in scientific terms are called “Trojan swarms”. They are the remnants leftovers that orbit around the Sun and Jupiter.

After Dinkinesh asteroid, NASA's Lucy mission will explore nine more such space rocks to gain in-depth knowledge of the celestial objects.

About Lucy mission

NASA reports that the Lucy spacecraft was launched on October 16, 2021, to explore a record-breaking number of asteroids which include Trojan asteroids that share an orbit around the Sun with Jupiter and fly by two asteroids in the solar system's main asteroid belt. It is a 12 year mission that will explore and give scientists amazing facts about asteroids. The name of the mission was given after a skeleton was discovered in 1974 in Ethiopia. The skeleton gave scientists a brief understanding of human evolution.

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First Published Date: 03 Nov, 16:48 IST