A team of researchers from the National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand, affiliated with the Astrophysical Research Center of Lyon, has just made an unprecedented discovery: they have detected first quadruple system of the main asteroid belt.
Electra, a juggernaut in the main belt
Asteroid Electra is located at a distance of 370 to 566 million kilometers from the Sun. Discovered in 1873 by Christian Peters from Hamilton College Litchfield Observatory, It revolves around the outer part of the main belt,
Along with the irregular shape, it was named in honor of Greek mythology. Specialty? he is one of the largest asteroids of the main belt. Its composition is similar to that of Ceres. But then, in what way is the researchers’ discovery unprecedented?
first quadruple asteroid
Recent observations of data from the VLT-Sphere telescope, collected in December 2014, showed that third satellite The size of Electra, 1.6 kilometers in diameter. The French astronomers behind the discovery, Anthony Bardeau, Maude Langlois and Frédéric Vachier, announced the news on November 6, 2021.
The satellite orbits 345 km from Electra. It orbits it on a terrestrial scale in less than a day. Electra gets First known quadruple asteroid system within the main belt, The dwarf planet Pluto and the four giants that are Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune are the only celestial bodies to date that have more satellites. They have dozens, and up to 82 for Saturn.
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