December 3, 2021

The Queens County Citizen

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The four-asteroid was first discovered

The four-asteroid was first discovered

A team of researchers from the National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand affiliated with the Astrophysical Research Center in Lyon has just made an unprecedented discovery: they have discovered The first four times the system From The main asteroid belt.

Electra, a juggernaut in the main belt

The asteroid Electra is located 370 to 566 million kilometers from the Sun. Discovered in 1873 By Christian Peters from the Hamilton College Lichfield Observatory, It is in orbit on the outside of the main belt,

Irregularly shaped, it is named in honor of Greek mythology. Uniqueness? He One of the largest asteroids Of the main belt. Its composition is similar From Ceres. However, in what way is the discovery of the researchers unprecedented?

The first four times the asteroid

Recent observations of data from the VLT-SPHERE Telescope collected in December 2014 have been revealed The third satellite The size of the Electra is 1.6 km in diameter. The French astronomers behind the discovery, Anthony Berduau, Maud Langlois and Frederick Vachier, announced the news on November 6, 2021.

The satellite orbits at a distance of 345 km from Electra. He orbits it within a day on a terrestrial level. Electra becomes so The first four times the asteroidal system in the main belt. The dwarf planet Pluto and the four giants Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune are by far the only celestial objects to have more satellites. There are dozens of them, and Until Saturn 82.

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