ESO (European Southern Observatory) revealed that the Kleopatra Asteroid has a very unusual appearance. The space agency decided to use the Very Large Telescope, which allowed the involved astronomers to capture the most detailed images of the heavenly body.
1/ Using our VLT a team of astronomers have obtained the sharpest and most detailed images yet of the asteroid Kleopatra, a peculiar “dog-bone” asteroid. 🦴— ESO (@ESO) September 9, 2021
Credit: @ESO /Vernazza, Marchis et al./MISTRAL algorithm (ONERA/CNRS) pic.twitter.com/4rXAYBB0oG
Many space fans would definitely be amazed about this asteroid, especially those who love dogs because it has a dog bone shape. When it comes to size, it is quite big since it measures around 270 kilometers.
To give you more idea about how massive the Kleopatra Asteroid is, its size has the length of the English Channel. As of the moment, this stunning meteor is orbiting the sun between Jupiter and Mars.
Specifically, Kleopatra Asteroid is located in the solar system's Asteroid Belt right now. Based on the new HD images released by the European Southern Observatory, this heavenly body has two thick heads at both ends, which are connected by a thinner rock neck.
"Kleopatra is truly a unique body in our Solar System," said SETI Institute in Mountain View's astronomer, Franck Marchis, via ESO's official blog post.
ESO Reveals Kleopatra Asteroid's Unusual Shape
The new study titled "Kleopatra, a low density critically rotating M-type asteroid" was published in the Astronomy and Astrophysics journal. According to Slash Gear's latest report, space experts combined the asteroid's 2017 and 2019 images to learn more about Kleopatra.
Bizarre 'bone' asteroid Is even Weirder than we imagined and we hope that future occultation events involving its moons will tell us more about the system. #occultation #kleopatra https://t.co/iSJkdzDTDw pic.twitter.com/2FFqKCSyaz— Dr. Franck Marchis (@AllPlanets) September 10, 2021
Their effort is a part of the ESO VLT. Aside from this, they also relied on the SPHERE instrument, which allowed them to make more detailed 3D renderings of the Kleopatra Asteroid.
This is not the current space achievements that happened before 2021 ends. Other space agencies are also making big efforts to explore the universe further. These include NASA's Perseverance Rover, which recently collected its second rock sample.
On the other hand, an astrobiologist also claims that space viruses could exist beyond Earth.
Other Unique Things About Kleopatra Asteroid
Aside from having a dog bone shape, WION reported that the Kleopatra Asteroid might have formed its own moons. Recent studies explained that the meteor was already known for having two natural satellites of its own.
However, the latest study contradicted this idea after revealing that the moons are not actually orbiting in the predicted location. Thanks to ESO's new research, astronomers were able to correct their past data about Kleopatra Asteroid's moons.
Involved space experts explained that the two moons' orbits are still complicated to be considered the natural satellites of the unique heavenly bodies.
For more news updates about the Kleopatra Asteroid and other unusual space objects, always keep your tabs open here at TechTimes.
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Written by: Griffin Davis