Asteroid ‘Dinky’, visited by NASA’s Lucy spacecraft, spawned its own moon

Scientists may have learned the history of the small contact binary moon orbiting asteroid 152830 Dinkineshwhich was NASA’s first cosmic stop Lucy spacecraft. That moon may have split off from its larger parent asteroid when Dinkinesh was sent through space after absorbing and re-emitting sunlight.

The Lucy mission, launched in 2021, is on its way to explore the Trojan asteroids, which share the orbit of Jupiter – but to reach them Lucy has to go through the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. On the plus side, this has given Lucy the chance to test her skills on a small world in the asteroid belt before she reaches the Trojans, which are located near Jupiter. L4 and L5 Lagrange points.

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