Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Solar system's first triple asteroid system found

Filed under
Sci/Tech

The solar system's first triple asteroid system has been found, boosting predictions that such systems result from collisions between asteroids.

About 20 "binary" asteroids - composed of two asteroids orbiting one other - have been found in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. Now, a third object has been spotted around one of these pairs, which includes one of the largest asteroids in the belt.

Called 87 Sylvia, the 280-kilometre-wide, potato-shaped asteroid lies about 3.5 times further from the Sun than the Earth does. Astronomers discovered an 18-km-wide moon orbiting it at a distance of about 1360 km in 2001. The newly found moon lies about twice as close to Sylvia, at a distance of 710 km, and measures just 7 km across.

Researchers led by Franck Marchis of the University of California in Berkeley, US, found the little moon using an infrared camera and adaptive optics on one of the four 8-metre telescopes making up the Very Large Telescope in Chile. Adaptive optics is a technique used to correct for Earth's atmospheric turbulence.

"People have been looking for multiple asteroid systems for a long time because binary asteroid systems in the main belt seem to be common," Marchis says. "I couldn't believe we'd found one."

Full Story.

More in Tux Machines

Hadoop and Spark

Openwashing

Leftovers: Software

  • Pitivi 0.96 — Cogito Ergo Proxy
  • Pitivi 0.96 Released With Proxy Editing Support
    In addition to proxy editing, Pitivi 0.96 also has timeline changes, transformation box, setting changes, user interface improvements, the start of allowing custom keyboard shortcuts, and support for Flatpak packages.
  • Calamares 2.3 Universal Linux OS Installer Released with Full-Disk Encryption
    Today, June 30, 2016, the Calamares team was proud to announce the final release and immediate availability for download of the Calamares 2.3 distribution-independent system installer. Calamares is currently being used in numerous popular operating systems, including, but not limited to, KaOS, Apricity OS, Chakra GNU/Linux, Netrunner, Sabayon, and OpenMandriva. It is the universal installer framework that many GNU/Linux distributions should adopt as it's now one of the most advanced system installers.
  • etcd3: A new etcd
    Over the past few months, CoreOS has been diligently finalizing the etcd3 API beta, testing the system and working with users to make etcd even better. Today etcd v3.0.0, the distributed key value store developed by CoreOS, is available. In practice, etcd3 is already integrated into a large-scale distributed system, Kubernetes, and we have implemented distributed coordination primitives including distributed locks, elections, and software transactional memory, to ensure the etcd3 API is flexible enough to support a variety of applications. Today we’re proud to announce that etcd3 is ready for general use.
  • Zend Framework 3 Released!
    After 17 months of effort, hundreds of releases, tens of thousands of commits by hundreds of contributors, and millions of installs, we're pleased to announce the immediate availability of Zend Framework 3.
  • ANNOUNCE: virt-viewer 4.0 release
  • Virt-Manager's Virrt-Viewer 4.0 Released

today's howtos