Science & Tech

Astronomers discovered a new trojan asteroid sharing Earth’s orbit

Research has shown that the Earth trails an asteroid barely a kilometer across in its orbit about the Sun – only the second such body to have ever been spotted. It goes around the Sun on average two months ahead of the Earth, dancing around in front like an excited herald of our coming.

This object, known as 2020 XL₅, was first spotted in December 2020 using Pan-STARRS telescopes on the summit of Haleakala on the Hawaiian island of Maui. But the determination of its orbit required follow-up observations using the 4.1-meter SOAR (Southern Astrophysical Research) telescope in Chile.

Image plotting 500 years of 2020 XL5 orbits.