August 9, 2012 – - Earth Assassinated by Trojan Asteroid: Astronomers studying observations taken by NASA’s new Infrared Survey Telescope, have discovered the first known “Trojan” asteroid orbiting the Earth; trailing along behind ,or in front of our World, like a dog on a leash.
The picture, above, shows the Sun (left center), the Earth (lower center), the Earth’s orbit around the Sun (blue solid line with small blue balls), and the Orbit of the Trojan asteroid (bright green) making wide swings around the planet.
“Trojans” are asteroids that share an orbit with a planet. They constantly lead or follow in the same orbit as the planet. In our solar system, Trojans also share orbits with Neptune, Mars and Jupiter. Two of Saturn’s moons share orbits with Trojans.
Scientists had predicted Earth should have Trojans, but they have been difficult to find because they are relatively small and appear near the Sun from Earth’s point of view. Trojan asteroids dwell mostly in the daylight, making them very hard to see. However, astronomers finally found one. Its nondescript name is “2010 TK7” and it is roughly 1,000 feet (300 meters) in diameter. It has an unusual orbit, in that it is very far from Earth most of the time (by as much as 50 million miles or 80 million kilometers). The asteroid’s orbit is well-defined for at least the next 100 years. That’s one of the reasons scientists discovered the “Dog Asteroid.” Its distant orbit looks like a trick roper with a big lasso, swinging it around his horse while seated in the saddle. Only in this case, the horse is the Earth and the lasso is Trojan Asteroid 2010 TK7’s orbit.
Astronomers estimate that there are many Trojan Asteroids, some of which may impact our planet, causing a world changing catastrophic event. Astronomers have a vast search on for asteroids, comets and other space objects that may collide with Earth. Now they’ve expanded their search, to include Trojan Asteroids (and other near Earth objects) that may be lurking in the daylight and, therefore are “Cloaked” from our view. Chaos now lurks in the shadows!
The Master of Disaster