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Where’s Lucy Going? Studying Asteroid Mission Targets

12 Feb 2019, 17:00 UTC
Where’s Lucy Going? Studying Asteroid Mission Targets
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Editor’s note: Astrobites is a graduate-student-run organization that digests astrophysical literature for undergraduate students. As part of the partnership between the AAS and astrobites, we occasionally repost astrobites content here at AAS Nova. We hope you enjoy this post from astrobites; the original can be viewed at astrobites.org.

Title: Light Curves of Lucy Targets: Leucus and Polymele
Author: Marc W. Buie, Amanda M. Zangari, Simone Marchi, Harold F. Levison, Stefano Mottola
First Author’s Institution: Southwest Research Institute
Status: Published in AJ
Asteroids, meteoroids, meteors, meteorites. Usually when we talk about these small chunks of debris and rock in the solar system, it’s about another possible apocalypse scenario. Studies of rocky objects that may pass near Earth’s orbit (near-Earth objects, or NEOs) are of obvious importance for the safety of humanity, but they are only one minor subset of the small bodies in our solar system. Most of the asteroids in our neighborhood live in the Asteroid Belt, a region between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter, and they’re referred to as “main-belt asteroids”. There are also large populations trailing Jupiter in its orbit (the Trojan asteroids) and floating out in the outer solar system near Neptune (the Centaur asteroids).
But ...

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