Artist’s illustration of the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. Astronomers have discovered two asteroids that are the reddest ones ever seen in the belt. They probably originated from beyond Neptune. Image via NASA/ JPL-Caltech/ NPR.
The 2 reddest asteroids
The main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter is estimated to contain over a million objects larger than a kilometer (0.6 miles) in diameter. Plus there are millions more smaller chunks of rocky debris in the belt, all whirling around the sun. And, for the most part, these millions of asteroids are pretty similar in composition and appearance. But now, with new observations, astronomers say they’ve found two asteroids in the belt that, frankly, shouldn’t be there. These rocky bodies are the two reddest asteroids ever seen in the asteroid belt.
The peer-reviewed Astrophysical Journal published this new work on July 26, 2021. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) announced the discovery in a press release on July 27. Veteran science writer George Dvorsky featured it in a article at Gizmodo on July 30.
Rich in organic material
The intriguing discovery was made by astronomer Sunao Hasegawa and his team at Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). Asteroids as red ...