NASA launched the Lucy spacecraft, which will serve 12 years to uncover “fossils” in the Solar System today.
According to the news in the BBC, Lucy is expected to orbit the planet to study Trojan asteroids that share the orbit of gas giant Jupiter. The fossils that Lucy is expected to examine are believed to hold important clues about the early evolution of the Solar System. During this time, the Lucy spacecraft will visit seven Trojan asteroids.
Hal Levison, who leads the Lucy mission, said Trojan asteroids will help understand how giant planets form and how the Solar System evolves.
In the statement made by NASA, it was stated that Lucy will be the first space mission sent to study Trojan Asteroids. In the description, Trojans are outer Solar System asteroids orbiting the Sun at the same distance from the Sun as Jupiter, in front of and behind the gas giant Jupiter. The gas giant is normally large enough to scatter all surrounding asteroids, but due to the combined gravitational effects of the Sun and Jupiter, these Trojan asteroids have been trapped in stable orbits (around what’s known as the Lagrange Points) for billions of years. These Trojans provide a unique, never-before-discovered example of the remnants of our early Solar System. It was also stated that these asteroids hold vital clues to decipher the history of the solar system.