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First Triple Asteroid System Found

Date:
August 10, 2005
Source:
University of California - Berkeley
Summary:
Using the Very Large Telescope in Chile, UC Berkeley and Paris Observatory astronomers have obtained images of the first triple asteroid system: two moonlets orbiting one of the largest of the main-belt asteroids, Sylvia. A detailed chart of their orbits yields a density for Sylvia, indicating it is a "rubble pile" asteroid probably disrupted by impact long ago and gravitationally re-accreted - except for the two large moons.

Artist's conception shows twin moonlets, Romulus and Remus, orbiting the large main-belt asteroid 87 Sylvia.
Credit: Image courtesy European Southern Observatory

Berkeley -- One of the thousands of asteroids orbiting the sun has been found to have a mini planetary system of its own.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California - Berkeley. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of California - Berkeley. "First Triple Asteroid System Found." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 August 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/08/050810135320.htm>.
University of California - Berkeley. (2005, August 10). First Triple Asteroid System Found. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/08/050810135320.htm
University of California - Berkeley. "First Triple Asteroid System Found." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/08/050810135320.htm (accessed April 18, 2014).

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