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Lowell Discovery Telescope Helps Discover Second-Known Earth Trojan Asteroid

The Lowell Discovery Telescope, along with the help of an international team of scientists, confirmed the second-known Earth Trojan Asteroid, or ETA, after a long ten-year search. The discovery will provide insight into the evolution of the solar system, and potentially allow for new space missions in the future due its shared orbit with Earth. Scientists believe this could be a good base for space missions and it may even be a provider of resources. “Trojan” is usually used to describe an asteroid that either leads ahead of or lags behind a planet in orbit. Scientists have been able to find Trojan asteroids associated with other planets, but it wasn’t until 2011 that an Earth Trojan was detected. The second ETA was detected on December 12th of 2020, and was later confirmed and proven to be an ETA with a diameter of one kilometer, which is three times the size of the first detected ETA in 2011. The Lowell Discovery Telescope captured 13 exposures that, when stacked, gave a clear indication of the position of the ETA. The findings also show that the ETA will not remain a Trojan forever. It reportedly will stay put for a minimum of four-thousand years, but will eventually escape and wander through space.