Was the 11 of June of 2019 when a group of astronomers discovered the asteroid 2019LD2, using the telescope of 1.0 m of the Network Telescope Global Observatory of The Peaks (LCOGT) in Cerro Tololo, Chile.
This finding in Jupiter, joined the that made the System Last Alert of the Terrestrial Impact of Asteroids (ATLAS) , University of Hawaii, who found the first trojan asteroid of the planet, which sprang a tail similar to a comet.
While ATLAS, a program of the NASA intended primarily to detect bodies dangerous that could get close to the Earth, also has discovered more than 40 comets, and other objects.
What makes this object (the asteroid 2019LD2) is extraordinary is its orbit. The early indication that it was an asteroid near the orbit of Jupiter has now been confirmed through accurate measurements from many different observatories are different. In fact, 2019 LD2 is a special type of asteroid called trojan Jupiter, and has never seen any object of this type that sheds gas and dust as a comet.
What are the trojan asteroids?
The trojan asteroids follow the same orbit a planet, but they remain about 60 degrees ahead or 60 degrees behind along the orbit. The Earth has at least one trojan asteroid, and Neptune have dozens. Jupiter has hundreds of thousands. The trojan asteroids of Jupiter orbiting around the Sun in two swarms, a swarm orbiting in front of the planet (where it was found LD2 2019) and a swarm orbiting behind it. The trojan asteroids have been captured in these orbits by the strong gravity of Jupiter.
What makes the LD2 2019 is so interesting is that we believe that most of the trojans of Jupiter were captured thousands of millions of years. Any surface ice that can be vaporized to shed gas and dust they should have done a long time ago, leaving the objects in orbit silent as asteroids, without behaving like comets.
“We have believed for decades that the trojan asteroids should have large amounts of ice beneath their surfaces, but we never had any evidence until now. ATLAS has shown that the predictions of its nature frost may be right,” said Alan Fitzsimmons, one of the astronomers of Hawaii.
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