A group of researchers gathered around Las Vegas and pointed their telescopes toward the sky and finds out a faraway star blinked out. The light was so little that there were chances for the scientists to have missed it in the first place. But they have recorded it and this has marked the success of NASA’s Lucy mission. This mission has started from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida in the month of October.
The star blinked for a moment as asteroid Eurybates had passed in front of it. As Eurybates passed in front of the star, a phenomenon called “occultation” took place. Lucy will soon go on a mission to explore more about Eurybates. This is why the scientists’ gathered data about its measure and width as it passed the star. Lucy will give us information about how Eurybates has been made.
Scientists describes occultation
Occultation is a name for that event where one celestial object passes in front of another and that blocks the view of another planet. Scientists have given the example of solar eclipse to make us understand this phenomenon.
The leading astronomer of Lucy mission Marc Buie has said that in occultation it seems like a star has almost vanished. Occultation has given the scientists valuable information about the size and shape of “Trojan” asteroids, which is Lucy’s topmost important destination. The “Trojan” asteroids orbit the Sun form the same distance as Jupiter. These asteroids are remains of an early solar system. For the first time, astronomers are going to observe them closely by the Lucy Mission. This mission will help scientists to build a theory of how these asteroids have been formed and why they are in this situation.
The scientists have also observed the “Trojan” asteroids by using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope. But as they appear in a small size in that telescope, it is difficult for the scientists to predict their true size.