Credit: PAUL WIEGERT, UNIVERSITY OF WESTERN ONTARIO, CANADA/NASA/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Animation of the orbital path of Earth's first Trojan asteroid, 2010 TK7 (green). Earth's orbital path around the Sun is shown by blue dots. Trojans are asteroids that share an orbit with a planet, orbiting around the Lagrange points of the planet-Sun system, either 60 degrees in front of (L4) or behind (L5) the planet in its orbit. Lagrange points are stable gravity wells where the gravitational forces of the Sun and planet cancel each other, allowing stable orbits to exist. 2010 TK7 orbits the L4 point. The clock at upper left shows how the orbit changes over time. This asteroid was discovered by NEOWISE, the asteroid-hunting portion of NASA's WISE mission, in 2010, and announced in July 2011. 2010 TK7 is thought to be some 300 metres in diameter.

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Keywords: 1st, 2010 tk7, 2011, animation, asteroid, astronomical, astronomy, discovery, earth, first, gravitational, gravity, l4, lagrange, mission, nasa, neowise, orbit, orbital, orbiting, planet, planetary science, point, solar system, space, sun, three-body, trojan, wise

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Earth's first Trojan asteroid orbit

K003/0443 Rights Managed

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Duration: 00:00:46.09

Frame size: 1280x720

Frame rate: 30

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Format: QuickTime, Photo JPEG 100%, progressive scan, square pixels

File size: 84.2M

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Capture format: QuickTime Animation

Codec: Photo - JPEG

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