WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Jupiter's “mysterious” Trojan asteroids are trapped by Jupiter’s gravity in two swarms that share the planet’s orbit, one leading and one trailing Jupiter in its 12-year circuit around the sun, the release explained.
"Lucy, a robotic spacecraft, is scheduled to launch in October 2021," the release stated on Wednesday. "It’s slated to arrive at its first destination, a main belt asteroid, in 2025. From 2027 to 2033, Lucy will explore six Jupiter Trojan asteroids.”
The two missions have the potential to open new windows “on one of the earliest eras in the history of our solar system — a time less than 10 million years after the birth of our sun,” according to the release.
Scientists have theorized that the metal orb could be the exposed core of an early planet that could have been as large as Mars, but which lost its rocky outer layers due to a number of violent collisions billions of years ago, the release added.
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