Rare, Eclipsing Binary Asteroids Discovered by Undergraduate Astronomy Class
(Photo : Illustration: Loretta Kuo)
A team of undergraduate students taking an astronomy lab course unwittingly made a valuable scientific observation when they chose to study the asteroid 3905 Doppler, discovering that the space rock is actually space rocks - a pair of rare, eclipsing binary asteroids.
The binary asteroid pair is among hundreds of thousands of pieces of cosmic debris in our solar system’s main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. But 3905 Doppler is remarkable because the asteroids are in a regularly eclipsing orbit. Fewer than 100 of this type of asteroid have been discovered in the asteroid belt.
"This is a fantastic discovery," said Drake Deming, a University of Maryland astronomy professor who was not involved with the astronomy class that made the discovery. "A binary asteroid with such an unusual lightcurve is pretty rare. It provides an unprecedented opportunity to learn about the physical properties and orbital evolution of these objects."
I did this.
My first born #Booboo
Good Thing of the Day:
A woman tells her dad he’s going to be a granddad.
0:24 i wanna cry
So fucking sick
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