Illustration of the asteroid Hektor

Illustration of the asteroid Hektor


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Artist's impression of the asteroid Hektor, the largest of the Trojan asteroids. Hektor is highly elongated, and when viewed from Earth its brightness varies by a factor of three. It is 298 km long, but no one knows what it looks like. One theory is that it was formed by a low-speed collision between two smaller asteroids, which then stuck together to form a peanut-shaped double asteroid. Or it may consist of two asteroids orbiting each other very closely. The Trojan asteroids are so called because they follow the orbit of Jupiter and are not in the Asteroid Belt between Mars and Jupiter. There are 2 groups of Trojans, one 60 degrees ahead of Jupiter & one 60 degress behind.

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