Asteroids (File Photo)
We all are well aware that asteroids, if hit Earth, can cause massive destruction. In space, there are millions of asteroids that exist. Recently, the European Space Agency (ESA) released a spectacular video showing over 14,000 asteroids orbiting in the Earth’s solar system. Shocked! Aren’t you?
The short video released by ESA features an animated look into the activities of the space objects monitored by Gaia. According to the International Business Times, the video begins with a top view of the Solar System as thousands of asteroids and other objects surrounding it.
According to the ESA, it created the video using the data obtained by Gaia, which was officially launched in 2013 to carry out its mission of monitoring the motions and activities of distant stars, planets and other notable objects in space.
The space agency further stated that the green circular lines in the video depict the 200 brightest asteroids as they go through their orbital cycles. The pink ones, on the other hand, are the four asteroids that were first discovered by Gaia.
Here’s the video showing 14,000 asteroids orbiting Earth's solar system:
The ESA said that the Gaia spacecraft first came across the three asteroids 2018 YL4, 2018 YM4 and 2018 YK4 in December 2018. The orbits of these asteroids were then confirmed by the Haute-Provence Observatory in France. It is worth mentioning here that the fourth asteroid, temporarily dubbed as 2019 CZ10, was also discovered by Gaia.
The space agency also stated that Gaia is still able to observe asteroids with high orbital tilts due to its advantageous location.
In a statement, ESA said, “The population of such high-inclination asteroids is not as well studied as those with less tilted orbits, since most survey tend to focus on the plane where the majority of asteroids reside.”
“Gaia can readily observe them as it scans the entire sky from its vantage point in space, so it is possible that the satellite will find more such objects in the future and contribute new information to study their properties,” it added.