Space telescope Gaia European space Agency designed for entirely different purposes. Its main task consists in the observation of the starsto clarify the history and development of our galaxy. However, the office as a side function, and monitors the asteroids of the Solar system. And most recently, this work has borne fruit. The telescope has discovered three of the asteroid, previously unknown to astronomers. The latter are space rocks, remaining from the time of formation of our Solar system.
Scientists believe that the study of these cosmic boulders can tell them about that looked like the Solar system billions of years ago, before the planets were formed of material around the Sun. As pointed out by the portal Space.com the Gaia telescope has discovered three unknown asteroid in December 2018. Further monitoring objects with and ground-based telescope at the Observatory of Haute Provence (France) allowed to confirm their nature.
This image shows the orbits of more than 14 000 known asteroids located between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. They are marked in bright red and orange, dark red colors represent the Trojan asteroids orbiting Jupiter. Yellow color indicated the near-earth asteroids – the so-called those bodies whose orbits in some areas are at a distance of 1.3 astronomical units from the Sun, that is closer to the Earth’s orbit. The orbit of Gaia discovered three new asteroids marked in gray
It is noted that “Trinity” has an unusual trajectory within the Solar system. Their peculiarity is that their inclination of the orbit is greater than 15 degrees relative to the plane of the orbits of most planets.
“Asteroids with a large slope is not as well studied as it is less inclined orbits, as most studies tend to focus on the plane, where most of the asteroids”, — says the official statement from ESA.
“At the same time, Gaia can easily watch them, as the telescope scans the sky from its vantage point in space, therefore, it is possible that the device will be able to find more such objects in the future and will bring new information to study their properties.”
Gaia helps to clarify the orbital parameters of the asteroid, and warns about their location detailing the speed and direction that helps services that monitor small celestial bodies. In support of this work involved several observatories on the Earth that react to Gaia alerts. As indicated in the statement of ESA for such observations normally require a telescope whose mirror diameter is at least 1 meter.
Upon confirmation of the object telescope Gaia and ground stations, are entered in the catalogue of minor planet Center, which is responsible for the collection of information about asteroids, comets and other small celestial bodies. Even if Gaia will find new asteroids, observation can tell astronomers more about the orbits of those asteroids that are already known.
“To date, several dozen asteroids observed by Gaia telescope, were confirmed by ground tracking stations. But they all belong to the main asteroid belt. But none excluded the possibility that the telescope will be able in the future to discover new near-earth asteroids”, — summarized in the message of ESA.
Earlier it was reported that Gaia has helped to more accurately calculate the mass of the milky Way.