NASA sent the Lucy probe near Jupiter, over an asteroid field.
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A new space mission was launched this Saturday morning, October 16 from Florida, in the United States. NASA’s Lucy probe has taken off on a long journey to the outskirts of Jupiter. Like Lucy’s skeleton, discovered in 1974 in Africa which allowed us to learn more about the origin of Man, this space probe will try to teach us more about the origin of our solar system.
For that, direction of the clusters of asteroids called the “Trojans”. “These are asteroids which are located at points of Lagrange, stable points around Jupiter, which are a kind of asteroid reservoir”, explains Éric Lagadec, astrophysicist at the Côte d’Azur Observatory. These asteroids, which are located more than 700 million kilometers from the sun, “will be flown over by a space mission for the first time”, he specifies.
It was not until 2027 that Lucy arrived at her destination. She can then begin to study these objects whose composition, density and shape will, for example, make it possible to know more about the evolution of the arrangement of the planets around our sun.
#LucyMission will visit 7 Trojan asteroids between 2027 and 2033, plus a bonus main-belt asteroid in 2025. No other space mission is history has been launched to as many different destinations in independent orbits around the Sun! #CountdownToLaunch https://t.co/eNr0SHpYOg
– NASA’s Launch Services Program (@NASA_LSP) October 16, 2021
“Since 1995 we have discovered exoplanets, which revolve around other stars, and we realized that the model we had to explain the formation of the solar system was not necessarily correct, explains Éric Lagadec. And that the planets as we see them now in the solar system had migrated. That is to say, their position is not the one in which they were formed. “
Eric Lagadec watched Lucy take off from Senegal, where professional and amateur astronomers were able to observe one of the asteroids that night which will be flown over in several years by the probe, like a blink of an eye.