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About The Dinkinesh Asteroid

Context:

Recently, NASA’s Lucy spacecraft has captured its first images of the main belt asteroid Dinkinesh, marking the beginning of a 12-year voyage.

Relevance:

GS III: Science and Technology

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About the Dinkinesh Asteroid
  2. About the Lucy Mission

About the Dinkinesh Asteroid:

  • Discovered in 1999 by the LINEAR survey.
  • Dinkinesh is characterized as a slow rotator with a moderately large light-curve amplitude.
  • It belongs to the S-type asteroid category, primarily composed of silicates with some metal.
  • Dinkinesh is the first fly-by target of NASA’s Lucy mission, scheduled for November 1, 2023, during the spacecraft’s journey to the Trojan Clouds.
  • Observations of Dinkinesh were made using Lucy’s high-resolution camera, the Lucy Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (L’LORRI instrument).

About the Lucy Mission:

  • NASA launched the Lucy mission from the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida in 2021.
  • It is a 12-year mission aimed at closely observing nine of Jupiter’s Trojans and two main belt asteroids.
  • Lucy is the first spacecraft sent to study the Trojan asteroids, which share the same orbit around the Sun as Jupiter.
  • The mission has recently captured images of asteroids Eurybates, Polymele, Leucus, and others as it continues its exploration of these celestial bodies.

-Source: India Today


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