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SCI/TECH: Scientists Find Asteroid With Two Moons

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posted on Aug, 10 2005 @ 06:37 PM
In a discovery hailed as the first of it's kind, Astronomers have discovered a second "moonlet" orbitting around 87 Sylvia, in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. At east 60 asteroids in the belt are thought to have moons but 87 Sylvia is the first to be found in a triple system.
"We were very excited -- it was the strawberry on the cake," Marchis said. "People have been looking for them for more than five years."

Asteroids, regular fodder for Hollywood disaster movies, are believed to form out of material which did not combine to make bigger planets or after collisions between larger objects.

The discovery of Sylvia's second moon, using a telescope in Chile, allows for a clearer picture of the asteroid and its origins and will help to explore the stability of such moons.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

This discovery will help scientists in the search for the origins of our solar system and with new technolgy coming to the forefront daily, more and more of Space's secrets are being uncovered.

It is thought that there may also be smaller satellites orbitting 87 Sylvia.

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[edit on 10-8-2005 by Mayet]

posted on Aug, 10 2005 @ 06:46 PM
the wonders of nature will never cease to amaze me.

As an astronomer myself this is quite an accomplishment.
to all you guys who did it.

It will be verry intresting to see how this all fits into planetary formation theories

posted on Aug, 10 2005 @ 07:02 PM
Asteroid "IDA" with it's moon "Dactyl" and now this..

Pretty cool..
I wonder how permanent they are?
Seems like a tenuous existence..

posted on Aug, 10 2005 @ 10:47 PM
Yes living the fine line between flying off into deep space and crashing into a central body is a very tenuous existence.

The delicate balance between Gravity and inertia that creates a stable orbit has less substance than a spider's web.

The Earth is in that same tenuous balance with the Sun. Nothing is ever for certain.

I was curious about what size object would have orbiting bodies.
It is about 15 km across, 9.3 miles [if my calculation is correct]

1.1 * 10^19 kg Or 4.89 * 10^18 lbs
Or 2.45 * 10^15 tons

It may be porous but that is a lot of rock flying around out there.

I enjoy riding this planet around the Sun. The orbit is stable and the temp is not too hot or too cold.

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