A First in History: An ‘Asteroid System With Three Satellites’ Discovered For The First Time In Our Solar System


According to a new study published, for the first time in history, a ‘quadruple asteroid system’ has been discovered in our solar system. Scientists stated that this conclusion was reached after the discovery of a third moon orbiting an asteroid called Asteroid Elektra.
It is a known fact that research carried out in the depths of space continues rapidly. These researches, which have grown even more with the development of technology, enable a new discovery to meet with us every day. A few days ago, we told you that a type of star was discovered that could change what we know about the formation of stars. In addition, it was recently announced that a new exoplanet that may be suitable for life in a star very close to our solar system has been found.

Scientists have now announced that a new discovery has been made about asteroids. A study led by researchers from Thailand’s National Research Institute of Astronomy, the University of Lyon and the Sorbonne University, and published in the journal Astronomy and Astrophysics, has shown for the first time that a quadruple asteroid system has been imaged in our Solar system.

First asteroid discovered to have three moons
First, let’s talk about what a quadruple asteroid system is. According to experts, this name is given to asteroid systems with three moons around it. The new research published also records the discovery that an asteroid called Asteroid Elektra, first seen by astronomer Christian Peters in 1873, has this system. Let’s not forget that this object, which is a G-type asteroid, is about 260 kilometers in diameter.

The first moon of the asteroid Elektra was discovered in 2003 and the second moon in 2014; With the new research, it was emphasized by scientists that a third satellite was added to the asteroid system. Stating that the new finding is very interesting and surprising because it is the first, the researchers added that this discovery was made as a result of examining the data obtained by the Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile. In addition, it was among the news that an algorithm was used to reduce the light surrounding the asteroid for imaging the satellite.

The scientists stated that this satellite, named S/2014 (130) 2, is 1.6 kilometers in diameter and is smaller than the other two moons. Let’s also say that the first discovered satellite is 6 kilometers in diameter, and the second one is 2 kilometers in diameter. In addition, it was emphasized in the published research that the new moon is closer to the asteroid than other moons and that the brightness of the moon is 15,000 times less than the asteroid’s own brightness.

According to astronomers, the algorithm used in this case can be used in the future to discover objects with low brightness; that has proved to be of great importance.