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Astronomers Discover Trojan Asteroid in Earth's Orbit

30 Jul 2011, 04:44 UTC
Astronomers Discover Trojan Asteroid in Earth's Orbit
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Earth has been playing "follow the leader" with an asteroid for many thousands of years! The first near-Earth object older than our moon to have been identified, 2010 TK7 shares the same orbit as our planet about 50 million miles ahead of us. This asteroid known as a "Trojan" are asteroids that share an orbit with a planet near stable points in front of or behind the planet. They can never really collide with the planet because they constantly are leading or following in the same orbit. In our solar system there are "Trojans" that share orbits with Neptune, Mars and Jupiter as well as two of Saturn's moons.Scientists have predicted that earth would have "Trojans" but have never found any until now because they are usually small and appear near the sun for the Earth's perspective. TK7 is about 1,000 feet in diameter and should not come closer than 15-million miles, at least for the next 100 years.For more complete information : http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/WISE/news/wise20110727.html

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