Astronomers Find First-Ever Quadruple Asteroid |

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Astronomers Find First-Ever Quadruple Asteroid astronomy space science

It has a diameter of about 2 km and orbits Elektra once every 1.2 days at a distance of 500 km .

“We discovered a new satellite, S/2014 2 or S3, orbiting Elektra, making it the third satellite in this system,” saidfrom the National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand and Chulalongkorn University and his colleagues. Using a new data reduction technique and a dedicated algorithm, the authors analyzed archival 2014 data from the“Angularly speaking, the two already known moons around Elektra revolve very closely to the asteroid and S2 is nearly buried in its halo,” they explained.

“The detection of an even fainter and closer moon implies a careful estimate and removal of this halo.”“It revolves inside the orbit of S2 with a semi-major axis of 344 km and an orbital period of 0.679 days around the primary,” the astronomers said.“More data on S2 and S3, as well as a more thorough dynamical study are necessary to solve the problem of the motion of the satellites of Elektra.”

“However, the discovery of the first quadruple asteroid system slightly opens the way for understanding the mechanisms of the formation of these satellites.”


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