Astronomers discovers Mars’s orbit is home to remains of ancient Mini – Planet

Astronomers discovers Mars’s orbit is home to remains of ancient Mini – Planet

The planet Mars shares its orbit with a few small asteroids, the supposed Trojans. An international team of astronomers using the Very Large Telescope in Chile have discovered that many of these objects share a common arrangement and are probably the remains of a mini-planet which was destroyed by a crash years ago.

Trojans move in orbits with the same average distance from the Sun, surrounded within gravitational ‘safe havens’ 60 degrees ahead and behind the planet. Around 6000 Trojans have been discovered at the orbit of Jupiter and around 10 found at Neptune’s. Mars is currently the only terrestrial planet to contain Trojan companions in stable orbits. The first Mars Trojan was found more than 25 years ago at L5 and named “Eureka”. The current count is 9, a factor of 600 less than Jupiter Trojans.

Astronomer Apostolos Christou states that many other families live in the Asteroid Belt between Jupiter and Mars, and even among Jupiter’s Trojans, but none of them consist of olive-dominated asteroids. This is in relation to the alleged missing-mantle problem which implies that if you add up the mass of different minerals in the asteroid belt and specifically those believed to be pieces of broken up, differentiated asteroids, there is a shortage of mantle material compared to rocky crust and metallic core material.

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