Thursday, July 28, 2011

Trojan asteroid discovered in Earth orbit

by Stuart Gary at ABC Science.

“WISE looked at the infrared light coming from all over the sky and was particularly good at detecting asteroids, finding about 150,000 of them, including 500 which come near the Earth.”

By examining the orbits of these objects in the WISE data, Connors and colleagues identified a small asteroid called 2010 TK7 as a probable Earth Trojan. The researchers then used ground-based telescopes to confirm the sighting, calculating that it's been in a stable orbit with Earth for more than 10,000 years.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech