Science

Astronomers have found a second trojan asteroid sharing Earth’s orbit

An Earth trojan is an asteroid that shares our planet’s orbit around the sun, moving just ahead of or behind our planet – and astronomers have now discovered that we have two



Space



22 November 2021

The orbit of 2020 XL5

JPL Small Body Database/NASA/Caltech

Earth has a second partner in its orbit. Trojans are asteroids that share the orbit of a planet or moon, moving along the same path just in front of the larger body or behind it, in locations called Lagrange points. Until now, we only knew of one Earth trojan – most of those in our solar system belong instead to Jupiter – but a team of researchers has found a second one called 2020 XL5.

The new trojan asteroid was first discovered by astronomers in …

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