December 9, 2023
The acceleration of the asteroid Phaeton jeopardizes the mission?  a look!

The acceleration of the asteroid Phaeton jeopardizes the mission? a look!

Touring car Listed 11 asteroids Known for its accelerating rotation. Recent research has detected this acceleration, and the reason for this is still unclear on the part of scientists. Among the possibilities are the effects of heat emitted by sunlight and the loss of mass of a space object.

With this latest discovery about one of the largest asteroids very close to our planet, what will be the direction of the DESTINY+ mission?

At the Arecibo Observatory, located in Puerto Rico, planetary scientist Sean Marshall managed to notice that the asteroid 3200 Phaeton, or Phaethon, as it is also known, is spinning faster and faster.

You are Astronomy scientists They noticed the star in order to improve its features when they noticed its acceleration. Although Phaethon is considered a potential hazard, the fact that scientists have extensive knowledge of its orbit removes any suspicion of danger, such as a future collision with Earth.

The reason why Sean Marshall and his colleagues observed the asteroid Phaeton is due to the fact that the JAXA space agency intends to visit the asteroid with the DESTINY+ mission. The information they collected served as food for models about ExpeditionHowever, according to Marshall, the shape model predictions do not match the data.

The 5.8-kilometre asteroid did not have the same brightness estimates that actually accompanied it. Scientists explain that this mismatch may be due to a change in rotation sometime between observations of 2021, as the star was close to perihelion in 2020, the period when the star or planet is closest to the sun.

Comparing data from 1989 to 2021, Marshall came to the conclusion that the information is consistent with a model of constant rotational acceleration. This model perfectly represents what actually happened to the asteroid.

The persistent small acceleration of only 4 milliseconds per year becomes apparent over the course of only a few decades. Because Phaeton’s changes are stable, predictable, the DESTINY+ mission is therefore not in danger of being cancelled, as scientists will know which areas the Sun will illuminate.