Some of our system’s youngest orbiting asteroids discovered in the asteroid belt – Technology News, Firstpost


Brazilian scientists have identified four new families of extremely young asteroids, bringing the total number to 13.

The four families, all of which are less than seven million years old, orbit between Mars and Jupiter as part of a group known as the Main Asteroid Belt.

The researchers dated the families using a digital simulation method to process current data to go back in time to the era of asteroid formation.

“We identified the new families by numerical simulation using the Backward Integration Method (BIM), which is much more accurate than other methods of dating asteroid families. But BIM only works for really families. young people who are under 20 million years old, “said Valerio Carruba, professor at Sao Paulo State University (UNESP) in Guaratingueta, Brazil.

“Based on current data, BIM allows you to go back in time using digital simulation to reconstruct the framework in which the parameters were aligned and thus date the asteroid family,” Carruba added.

Representative image. Image Courtesy: NASA / JPL

The Main Belt is an extraordinary niche of asteroids, with over 700 known objects. The number is steadily increasing with improved detection methods, and it can be estimated at one million.

According to Carruba, the asteroids in the main belt are far from evenly distributed. Various different regions have formed inside the belt due to the very complex gravitational interaction between so many bodies and, most importantly, Jupiter’s strong gravitational field.

In the study, Posted in the newspaper Monthly notices from the Royal Astronomical Society, the main dating parameters used were the longitudes of the pericenter and the ascending node.

For a planet, comet, or asteroid moving around the Sun in an elliptical orbit, the pericenter is the point where it comes closest to the Sun.

The ascending node is the point at which the orbit passes from the south side of a reference plane, usually the plane of the ecliptic, to the north side.

“When an asteroid family is formed, all of the pericenters and ascending nodes of the asteroids are aligned, but as the family evolves alignment is lost due to gravitational disturbances produced by the planets and possibly by some asteroids. massive, ”Carruba explained.

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