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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Newfound ‘moon’ round asteroid Dinkinesh is definitely two tiny moons touching Specific Occasions

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On its first asteroid flyby on Nov. 1, NASA’s Lucy mission found that the primary belt asteroid Dinkinesh has a small moon orbiting it. Now, extra photographs have revealed one other shock: Dinkinesh’s moon is just not one, however two small satellites. The dual moons initially appeared as one as a result of they’re so shut collectively, they contact as they orbit.

Dinkinesh — affectionately often known as “Dinky” — is about 2,500 ft (790 meters) in diameter, making it the smallest primary belt asteroid ever explored by a spacecraft. Astronomers have been observing Dinkinesh since 1999, and so they knew that the asteroid was considerably uncommon by the best way its brightness fluctuated. However they didn’t predict that the diminutive asteroid was harboring a moon — not to mention two. Primarily based on Lucy’s photographs, its moons look like a mixed 720 ft (220 m) round.

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