Nov 7, 2023

NASA probe finds new asteroid during flyby

Posted by in category: space

Dinkinesh, previously thought to be a single asteroid, is revealed by NASA’s Lucy probe to in fact be a binary pair.

“Moonrise” of the new satellite as it emerges from behind Dinkinesh as seen by the Lucy Long-Range Reconnaissance Imager (L’LORRI). Credit: NASA/Goddard/SwRI/Johns Hopkins APL/NOIRLab.

Dinkinesh, a main-belt asteroid with an orbital period of 3.2 years, was discovered on 4th November 1999 by the Lincoln Near-Earth Asteroid Research (LINEAR) sky survey at Socorro, New Mexico. Less than two weeks after being observed, astronomers lost track of the object and it went unrecognised for several years. Additional sightings occurred in the mid-2000s, helping to re-establish its position and greatly reduce the uncertainties of its orbit.

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