NASA’s Lucy Catches Glimpse of Its First Goal Asteroid

The primary belt asteroid Dinkinesh seems as a small dot towards a background of stars.
Gif: NASA/Goddard/SwRI/Johns Hopkins APL

The Lucy spacecraft is getting nearer to its first asteroid encounter, a small, stony celestial physique that was just lately added to the mission’s itinerary. Nonetheless on its option to rendezvous with Jupiter’s swarm of asteroids, Lucy caught a glimpse of Dinikinesh in the primary asteroid belt.

NASA’s asteroid probe captured two pictures of the goal asteroid on September 2 and 5, revealing Dinikinesh in movement towards a busy but static starry backdrop. The area company released the photographs on Monday because the workforce behind the mission assessments the spacecraft’s programs and procedures till its closest strategy to the asteroid on November 1.

Lucy imaged Dinikinesh, which is just a couple of half-mile large (1 kilometer), whereas it was 14 million miles (23 million kilometers) away from the asteroid. The spacecraft will proceed to maneuver nearer to the asteroid till its shut flyby, the place will probably be at a distance of 265 miles (425 km). Lucy will proceed to get conversant in its first asteroid goal over the subsequent month or so, capturing a number of pictures of Dinikinesh as a part of its optical navigation program that makes use of the asteroid’s obvious place towards the star background to find out the relative place of the spacecraft and its goal to make sure an correct flyby, in accordance with NASA.

Dinkinesh, or ድንቅነሽ in Amharic, the Ethiopian identify for the human-ancestor fossil that’s also called Lucy, was found in 1999 however was left unnamed till it was selected as a target for the mission in January.

The asteroid was added to Lucy’s record of targets as a option to take a look at the spacecraft’s terminal monitoring system, which is used for exact imaging throughout its excessive velocity encounters with the asteroids.

Lucy launched in October 2021 and is predicted to achieve its asteroid targets in 2027 and 2028. The spacecraft will start its Trojan tour by visiting Eurybates and its binary companion Queta, adopted by Polymele and its binary companion, Leucus, Orus, and the binary pair Patroclus and Menoetius. Lucy is predicted to journey over 4 billion miles (6.4 billion kilometers) throughout its 12-year mission, throughout which the probe will go to 10 asteroids.

For extra spaceflight in your life, comply with us on Twitter and bookmark Gizmodo’s devoted Spaceflight page.

Trending Merchandise

Añadir para comparar
Corsair 5000D Airflow Tempered Glass Mid-Tower ATX PC Case – Black

Corsair 5000D Airflow Tempered Glass Mid-Tower ATX PC Case – Black

Añadir para comparar
CORSAIR 7000D AIRFLOW Full-Tower ATX PC Case, Black

CORSAIR 7000D AIRFLOW Full-Tower ATX PC Case, Black


Estaremos encantados de escuchar lo que piensas

Deje una respuesta

Registrar una cuenta nueva
Comparar artículos
  • Total (0)
Shopping cart