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Operating manual on how to find an Earth Trojan asteroid

April 6 , 13:00 14:00

Speaker: Dr. Toni Santana-Ros
Affiliation: Institute of Cosmos Sciences, University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
Link to MS Teams meeting

Almost every day, we point our telescopes at recently discovered Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) with the aim of enhancing their – still – preliminary orbit. The large majority of these discoveries are coming from the major surveys in this field, such as Pan-STARRS, the Catalina Sky Survey or ATLAS.

The story of 2020 XL5 began in December 2020, when it was detected by the Pan-STARRS1 survey at Haleakalāa Observatory in Hawaii. Observations followed during the next few days, and some of the preliminary orbit determinations pointed out the possibility that the object could be librating around the 4th Lagrangian point of the Sun-Earth system. This would make it the second known Earth Trojan asteroid! But the confirmation of this discovery wasn’t a bed of roses…

In this talk, we will learn the dramatic story of a quest in search of the second Earth Trojan asteroid.

Chariman: Prof. Sławomir Breiter

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