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Space

First Asteroid Discovered At Uranus's Leading Trojan Point 90

Posted by Soulskill
from the set-course-for-the-tilted-planet dept.
LeadSongDog writes "Space.com is reporting on a 60km comet-like body in Lagrangian orbit around the Sun, locked to Uranus's leading Trojan Point. This means a distant, but fairly accessible supply of water-ice, hence: reaction mass, hydrogen and oxygen for robotic miners if we can just get them there with an energy source. 'The sun and Earth have two Trojan points, one leading ahead of Earth, known as the L-4 point of the system, and one trailing behind, its L-5 point. The sun and other planets have Lagrangian points also, with asteroids seen at those the sun shares with Jupiter, Neptune and Mars. Scientists thought the Trojan points of Uranus, the seventh planet from the sun, were too unstable to host asteroids."
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First Asteroid Discovered At Uranus's Leading Trojan Point

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    pls

  • Oh Dear (Score:5, Funny)

    by Oysterville (2944937) on Saturday August 31, 2013 @12:08PM (#44724949)
    That headline caused the heads of many a troll to explode.
  • by Smivs (1197859) <smivs@smivsonline.co.uk> on Saturday August 31, 2013 @12:26PM (#44725067) Homepage Journal
    ...if Uranus has asteroids. He can give you some cream for it.
    • I'm guessing there would be a lot of uncomfortable probing with a sonic screwdriver and then he'd tell you Uranus has hosted quite a few unshielded Cybermen in the last couple of months.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    If so, they should name the asteroid hamster.
  • Looks like (Score:2, Offtopic)

    by Jmc23 (2353706)
    someone forgot to wipe!
  • Someone has to change that planet's name ASAP.
    Neil deGrasse Tyson are you listening?
  • by Stiletto (12066)

    "Uranus" and "trojan" jokes. This is what Slashdot has become.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Still downright refreshing compared to the usual libertarian politics and NSA paranoia.

    • That's No Moon . . .
    • All based on the possibly flawed assumption comets are composed of slushy ice and rocky dusty bits. The good folks at Thunderbolts.info have for years been gathering information which suggests cometary bodies are dry rocky objects. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=34wtt2EUToo&list=PLwOAYhBuU3UfvhvcT1lZA6KbSdh0K2EpH&index=3 [youtube.com]
    • by Zocalo (252965)
      Also pretty useless, I suspect. I can't imagine that there are all that many places that we might want to go that meet the criteria of both having Uranus' L4 or L5 point on route and not having a more viable alternative refuelling stop available. Maybe that will change if (and it's a very big "if") we discover that the Kuiper belt is a vast resource of valuable minerals and develop the technology to exploit it, but until then it's just an astronomical curiousity that might provide some useful information
  • Due to unending tasteless jokes, Uranus is now known as Urectum.

    What the point of a trojan leading asteroids into Urectum is, I am not sure, but it sounds like...

    "Dammit Jim, I'm a physician, not your proctologist."

  • Stable? Unstable? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 31, 2013 @01:29PM (#44725441)
    The trojan points are only meta-stable anyway. So for people to say that they thought the leading trojan point of Uranus was too unstable to capture an asteroid isn't thinking clearly. When was it captured? Last year? When will it leave the trojan point? In two weeks? They need to think about what "stable" and "unstable" mean in cosmological time. It can be unstable but still last in that configuration well past the time you and I die.
  • The reputation of that planet is so damaged that I actually chewed out my daughter for "getting stuck with" Uranus. "But it was such a pretty blue", the naive little grade-schooler said.

    "Next time don't dilly-dally and get in line early and pick a real planet, so that your family won't be embarrassed, you got that?"

    "Yes, Daddy. Next time I'll pick Pluto....."

    • The reputation of that planet is so damaged that I actually chewed out my daughter for "getting stuck with" Uranus. "But it was such a pretty blue", the naive little grade-schooler said.

      "Next time don't dilly-dally and get in line early and pick a real planet, so that your family won't be embarrassed, you got that?"

      Please tell me you're joking and/or I should be hearing a rather loud woosh right now. If not, please seek professional help before you screw up your child(ren).

      • by Tablizer (95088)

        It's a lesson in reality: a lesson in embarrassment, family "face", and competition. Life is cruel; you have to learn to play the game right or get stomped on. How is one going to handle future sadistic bosses or future stupid mother-in-law's without such lessons? The rainbow and sunshine times of kindergarten have moved on for such a student.

      • by RockDoctor (15477)

        If not, please seek professional help before you screw up your child(ren).

        He could always go to his priest to make sure that his children get properly, professionally screwed up.

  • by VortexCortex (1117377) <VortexCortex@Nos ... t-retrograde.com> on Saturday August 31, 2013 @02:04PM (#44725623)

    Ceres [wikipedia.org] is a dwarf planet that makes up about 1/3rd the mass of the asteroid belt. It's thought to be made of rock and ice as well. So, it would have RAW materials for both building and fueling... If you don't mind all the other rocks whizzing by. Closer proximity to the sun means it's faster to use solar to split H2O closer in.

    Amazing to think of a future where fuel could be made at such sites (even out of water on the moon) and then distributed to other orbits about the solar system to fuel up on in transit. The biggest benefit of finding caches of resources like this is that they've got a much lower gravity tax...

    Uranu's trojan asteroid would be sort of like a gas station in the middle of no-where: "Slow down, pilgrim. Sun's not so bright you hafta scurry about. Time moves a bit slower for us robotic refuelers out here in the land of the midday night. One wrong move and it's 2.6 billion clicks to the nearest part store."

  • Does that mean that Uranus has not "cleared its orbit" of other objects? (That being one of the IAU's criteria for planet-hood)

  • ... But it's hardly surprising. Uranus is a planet, and it's not in any particularly close resonance relations to any others, so you'd pretty much expect it to have some Trojan companions (double entendre resisted, almost). So that's Neptune, Uranus, Saturn, Jupiter definitely with Trojans ; Mars ... yes, three or seven, depending on who you ask ; Earth ... well allegedly yes, but there are complications like Cruithne [wikipedia.org] too - a "quasi-satellite".

    It seems as if all of the Solar System's planets are obeying th

Two is not equal to three, even for large values of two.

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