Dinkinesh asteroid

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Dinkinesh asteroid Blog Image

Overview:

Recently, NASA's Lucy spacecraft has captured its first images of the main belt asteroid Dinkinesh, marking the beginning of a 12-year voyage.

About Dinkinesh asteroid:

  • It was discovered in 1999 by the LINEAR survey.
  • Dinkinesh is a slow rotator with moderately large light-curve amplitude. 
  • It is an S-type asteroid means it is composed mainly of silicates and some metal.
  • It will be the first fly-by target of the Lucy mission on 2023 November 1, during its cruise to the Trojan clouds.
  • The observations were made by Lucy’s high-resolution camera, the Lucy LOng Range Reconnaissance Imager ( L’LORRI instrument ).

 

Key Facts about Lucy Mission

  • It was launched by NASA from the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida in 2021.
  • It is a 12-year mission which will take close observations of nine of Jupiter’s Trojans and two main belt asteroids along with that.
  • It is the first spacecraft sent to study the Trojan asteroids, which orbit the Sun in the same path that the planet Jupiter takes.
  • It has recently captured the images of Eurybates, Polymele,  Leucus and  Leucus asteroids.

 


Q1) What is asteroid ?

An asteroid is a small, rocky object that orbits the Sun in our solar system. These celestial bodies vary in size from a few meters to hundreds of kilometers across. Most asteroids are found in the asteroid belt, a region of space between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter, although some can be found throughout the solar system.

Source: Lucy captures first image of Dinkinesh on its way to ancient asteroids