Title: NASA’s Lucy Spacecraft Discovers Rare Contact Binary Asteroid During Flyby
NASA’s Lucy spacecraft, currently on a mission to study various asteroids, has uncovered fascinating information during its encounter with the small main-belt asteroid Dinkinesh. The space probe has detected the presence of two asteroids, including a rare contact binary.
A contact binary is a peculiar formation where two smaller asteroids are in contact with one another. This discovery is of immense significance, as contact binaries have never been observed up close or found to be orbiting another asteroid before. John Spencer, Lucy’s deputy project scientist, expressed his excitement about the find, pointing out that while contact binaries are relatively common in the solar system, such detailed observations are unprecedented.
At present, Lucy is positioned far beyond the Moon but will return to Earth next year for a gravity assist maneuver. This will enable the spacecraft to soar back through the main asteroid belt, unlocking more insights and conducting additional observations.
The next phase of the Lucy mission will take place in 2025 when the spacecraft is scheduled to observe asteroid Donaldjohanson. Subsequently, in 2027, it will make its way towards the Trojan asteroids situated in Jupiter’s orbit, marking a significant milestone in its celestial exploration.
In light of this groundbreaking discovery, the Daily Telescope encourages readers to actively contribute to scientific research. The publication invites individuals to submit their personal photographs relevant to space exploration for publication purposes, further fostering a spirit of curiosity and engagement.
As Lucy continues its groundbreaking expedition through the vastness of space, researchers and space enthusiasts remain eagerly awaiting further revelations and discoveries. The information gathered by the spacecraft promises to contribute substantially to our understanding of asteroids and the solar system overall.
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