Shocking! First-ever asteroid within orbit of Venus Spotted; Meet the unique asteroid 2020 AV2 | Tech News

Shocking! First-ever asteroid within orbit of Venus Spotted; Meet the unique asteroid 2020 AV2

For the first time ever, an asteroid has been spotted that lies entirely within the orbit of Venus. Scientists believe this could give rise to an entirely new population of asteroids.

| Updated on: Aug 30 2022, 15:51 IST
Earth to witness a RARE PHENOMENON! Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn forming a straight line NOW
Asteroid and Earth
1/6 According to Subhendu Pattnaik, Deputy Director, Pathani Samanta Planetarium, Bhubaneswar, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn will align in a straight line in the eastern sky for around one hour before the sunrise during this rare phenomenon. (Pixabay)
Asteroid and Earth
2/6 Speaking to ANI, Subhendu Pattnaik said, "During the last week of April 2022, a rare and unique planet alignment will occur, which is popularly known as 'planet parade'' Although there is no scientific definition for 'planet parade', it is being widely used in astronomy to denote an event that takes place when planets of the solar system line up in a row in the same area of the sky." (Pixabay)
Asteroid and Earth
3/6 He explained about three planet parades. The first occurs when planets line up on one side of the Sun as seen up above the plane of our solar system. This is the most common among all of them and can happen multiple times in a year. (Pixabay)
Asteroid and Earth
4/6 Pattnaik said, "Secondly, when some planets appear in a small sector of the sky at the same time regardless of their visibility conditions, from Earth's point of view we term the event also as a planet parade. A planet parade of this type last happened on April 18, 2002 and July 2020 when all planets of the Solar system that are visible to the naked eye lined up in a row in the evening sky.” (Pixabay)
Asteroid and Earth
5/6 The third type of planet parade is on rare occasions where there are favourable conditions for observation of all or some of the planets. "During the last week of April 2022, a rare and unique planet parade will take place when Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn will line up in the eastern sky around one hour before sunrise. This will be a planet parade of the third kind as described above. The last such parade of these planets occurred in 947 AD around 1,000 years ago," Pattnaik said. (AFP)
Asteroid and Earth
6/6 He further explained to ANI that, "One hour before sunrise on April 26 and 27, the moon along with four planets will be visible within 30 degrees from the eastern horizon in a near-perfect straight line. If the conditions are right, one can see Jupiter, Venus, Mars and Saturn in a line without the need for binoculars or telescopes. On April 30, the brightest planets - Venus and Jupiter - can be seen very close together. Venus will be 0.2 degrees south of Jupiter.” (NASA)
Asteroid and Earth
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The first Venusian asteroid is revealing an entirely new system to Earth (Representative Photo) (Pixabay)

The source of the majority of the asteroids in our solar system lies in the asteroid belt. Located roughly between the orbits of the planets Jupiter and Mars, this region is the home to asteroids ranging from the size of a pebble to a dwarf planet (Ceres at 950 kilometers width). And for years, scientists have known that most asteroids are either coming from and to the asteroid belt or have been ejected by Jupiter's gravitational pull and have been stranded in a distant part of the solar system. However, this notion has been broken after an asteroid has been spotted which lies entirely within the orbit of Venus. This has now forced scientists to accept the reality that different classifications of asteroids may exist in different planetary systems.

First ever Venusian asteroid hints at new collection of space rocks

According to a recent study published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, asteroid 2020 AV2 is changing the way scientists look at asteroid clusters. The space rock was first observed in 2020 using the Samuel Oschin telescope at Palomar Observatory, but at the time its orbit was not known. After collecting data over a period of time, it became clear that the asteroid orbits the Sun entirely within the orbit of Venus.

If you do not understand why it is significant, then allow us to explain. The current hypothesis is that the asteroids were either the dust particles from the early solar system that could not become a planet or the result of many collisions that took place in the solar system in the process of building planets. These rocks initially began orbiting the Sun but then due to the strong gravitational pull of Jupiter, began accumulating in the space between Jupiter and Mars. Some larger asteroids that broke from this pull and began rotating around the Sun would still return to the asteroid belt. That is why most asteroids that come close to the Earth are either moving towards the Sun or the asteroid belt.

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This is why asteroids being near Venus is surprising because Venus is not supposed to have a gravitational field so strong to contain asteroids within its system. Yet, that is exactly what's happening here.

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“The current theory is that asteroids interior to Earth's and Venus's orbits migrated out of the main belt and onto orbits in the inner solar system mostly through gravitational interactions with the planets," Robert Jedicke, University of Hawaii told Sky & Telescope.

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First Published Date: 30 Aug, 15:51 IST