Read the Beforeitsnews.com story here. Advertise at Before It's News here.
Profile image
By Universe Today (Reporter)
Contributor profile | More stories
Story Views
Now:
Last hour:
Last 24 hours:
Total:

Mars’ Trojans Show Remains Of Ancient Planetoid

% of readers think this story is Fact. Add your two cents.


Trojan asteroids are a fascinating thing. Whereas the most widely known are those that orbit Jupiter (around its L4 and L5 Lagrange Points), Venus, Earth, Mars, Uranus and Neptune have populations of these asteroids as well. Naturally, these rocky objects are a focal point for a lot of scientific research, since they can tell us much about the formation and early history of the Solar System.

And now, thanks to an international team of astronomers, it has been determined that the Trojan asteroids that orbit Mars are likely the remains of a mini-planet that was destroyed by a collision billions of years ago. Their findings are detailed in a paper that will be published in The Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society later this month.

For the sake of their study, the team – which was led by Galin Borisov and Apostolos Christou of the Armagh Observatory and Planetarium in Northern Ireland, examined the composition of Marian Trojans. This consisted of using spectral data obtained by the XSHOOTER spectrograph on the Very Large Telescope (VLT) and photometric data from the National Astronomical Observatory‘s two-meter telescope, and the William Herschel Telescope.

Diagram of Jupiter and the inner Solar System, showing the Jupiter and Martian Trojans (light green) and the Main Belt (teal). Credit: Wikipedia Commons/AndrewBuck

Specifically, they examined two members of the Eureka family – a group of Martian Trojans located at the planet’s L5 point. It is here that eight of Mars’ nine known Trojans exist in stable orbits (the other being at L4), and which are named after the first Martian Trojan ever discovered – 5261 Eureka. Like all Trojans, the Eurekas are thought to have orbited Mars ever since the formation of the Solar System.

In fact, astronomers have suspected for some time that the Martian Trojans could be the survivors of an early generation of planetesimals from which the inner Solar System formed. As Dr. Christou told Universe Today via email:

“[The Trojan family] is unique in the Solar System, in more ways than one. Unlike every other family that exists in the Main Asteroid Belt between Mars and Jupiter, it is made up of olivine-rich asteroids. Also, the asteroids are

After combining spectrographic and photometric data on these asteroids, the team found that they were rich in the mineral olivine – a magnesium iron silicate that is a primary component of the Earth’s mantle and (it is believed) other terrestrial planets. This was unusual find as far as asteroids go, but it was even more interesting when compared to 5261 Eureka itself – which also has an olivine-rich composition.

The first X-ray view of Martian soil by Curiosity rover at the “Rocknest” (October 17, 2012),  showing traces of feldspar, pyroxenes, and olivine. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Ames

Given that the Eureka asteroids also have similar orbits, the team concluded that every member of this family is likely to have a common composition – and hence, a common origin. These findings could have drastic implications for both the origin of Martian Trojans, and the origin of the inner Solar System. As Dr. Christou explained:

“The presence of asteroids with exposed olivine on their surfaces constrains the sequence of events that led to Mars’ formation. Olivine forms within objects that grew large enough to differentiate into a crust, mantle and core. Therefore, these objects must have formed before Mars did and were available to participate in Mars’ formation. To expose the olivine, it is necessary to break these objects up through collisions. Our ongoing work indicates that this is unlikely to have happened after the Solar System settled down in its current configuration, therefore there must have been period of intense collisional evolution during the planet formation process.”

In other words, if Mars formed from several types of material that was mixed together, these asteroids would be samples of the original source – i.e. planetesimals. By examining these asteroids further, scientists will be able to learn more about the process through which Mars came to be and (as Christou says) help us “unscramble the Martian omelette.”

This research is also likely to reveal much about the formation of Earth and the other terrestrial planets of the Solar System. Similar efforts will be made with NASA’s upcoming Lucy mission, which is scheduled to launch in October of 2021. Between 2027 and 2033, this probe will study Jupiter’s Trojan population, obtaining information on six of the asteroid’s geology, surface features, compositions, masses and densities to learn more about their origins.

Further Reading: MNRAS, Armagh Observatory

The post Mars’ Trojans Show Remains Of Ancient Planetoid appeared first on Universe Today.


Source: https://www.universetoday.com/134871/mars-trojans-show-remains-ancient-planetoid/


Before It’s News® is a community of individuals who report on what’s going on around them, from all around the world.

Anyone can join.
Anyone can contribute.
Anyone can become informed about their world.

"United We Stand" Click Here To Create Your Personal Citizen Journalist Account Today, Be Sure To Invite Your Friends.

Lion’s Mane Mushroom Nootropic

Mushrooms are having a moment. One fabulous fungus in particular, lion’s mane, may help improve memory, depression and anxiety symptoms. They are also an excellent source of nutrients that show promise as a therapy for dementia, and other neurodegenerative diseases. If you’re living with anxiety or depression, you may be curious about all the therapy options out there — including the natural ones.Our Lion’s Mane WHOLE MIND Nootropic Blend has been formulated to utilize the potency of Lion’s mane but also include the benefits of four other Highly Beneficial Mushrooms. Synergistically, they work together to Build your health through improving cognitive function and immunity regardless of your age. Our Nootropic not only improves your Cognitive Function and Activates your Immune System, But it benefits growth of Essential Gut Flora, further enhancing your Vitality.



Our Formula includes: Lion’s Mane Mushrooms which Increase Brain Power through nerve growth, lessen anxiety, reduce depression, and improve concentration. Its an excellent adaptogen, promotes sleep and improves immunity.


Shiitake Mushrooms which Fight cancer cells and infectious disease, boost the immune system, promotes brain function, and serves as a source of B vitamins.


Maitake Mushrooms which regulate blood sugar levels of diabetics, reduce hypertension and boosts the immune system.


Reishi Mushrooms which Fight inflammation, liver disease, fatigue, tumor growth and cancer. They Improve skin disorders and soothes digestive problems, stomach ulcers and leaky gut syndrome.


Chaga Mushrooms which have anti-aging effects, boost immune function, improve stamina and athletic performance, even act as a natural aphrodisiac, fighting diabetes and improving liver function.


Try Our Lion’s Mane WHOLE MIND Nootropic Blend 60 Capsules Today. Be 100% Satisfied or Receive a Full Money Back Guarantee. Order Yours Today by Following This Link.

Report abuse

    Comments

    Your Comments
    Question   Razz  Sad   Evil  Exclaim  Smile  Redface  Biggrin  Surprised  Eek   Confused   Cool  LOL   Mad   Twisted  Rolleyes   Wink  Idea  Arrow  Neutral  Cry   Mr. Green

    MOST RECENT
    Load more ...

    SignUp

    Login

    Newsletter

    Email this story
    Email this story

    If you really want to ban this commenter, please write down the reason:

    If you really want to disable all recommended stories, click on OK button. After that, you will be redirect to your options page.