THE Mission Luciafrom NASA, launched on October 16, 2021, has another 12 years to study seven trojan asteroids of Jupiter. These objects are known to be part of an ancient population of “fossil” asteroids that orbit the Sun at the same distance as Jupiter.
As the spacecraft heads toward Jupiter, it performs calibration tests. On October 13, the equipment captured an image of the Earth and the Moon at a distance of 1.4 million kilometers (see below).
This flyby was one of three that Lucy will still perform over Earth. Indeed, to reach the distant asteroids, the trajectory of the probe includes three assistants of gravity. These aids provide the spacecraft with the necessary speed to reach the Trojan asteroids, which can help to better understand the formation of the Earth. Solar system.
On the far left, the Moon and on the right, the Earth. The image was taken on October 13 — Photo: NASA/Goddard/SwRI
Called Dinknesh and known as Lucythe fossil was discovered in 1974 by an American paleontologist and is considered one of the most complete human fossils ever found and the main ancestor of the modern humans.
The photos on October 13 and 15 were taken by the spacecraft’s Terminal Tracking Camera (T2CAM) system, a pair of identical cameras responsible for follow the asteroids during Lucy’s high-speed encounters.