CTIO/NOIRLab/NSF/AURA/J. da Silva (Spaceengine)
2021 PH27, the asteroid with the fastest orbital period in our Solar System.
Nationalgeographic.co.id—Recently, astronomers discovered asteroid with the shortest orbital period of all asteroid known in Solar system. The discovery was made possible thanks to the use of Dark Energy Camera or Dark Energy Camera (DECam) which has a resolution of 570 megapixels (MP) in Chile.
Asteroid It has an orbit of about 1 kilometer in diameter. This orbit brings asteroid It is as close as 20 million kilometers from the Sun every 113 days. Asteroid this is called 2021 PH27. His form was revealed in the image obtained through the 570 MP camera at dusk.
Asteroid has the smallest average distance (semi-major axis) compared to asteroid whichever is known in Solar system we. Only the planet Mercury, other objects in Solar system we are known to have a shorter period and a smaller semi-major axis.
Asteroid it was discovered by Scott S. Sheppard of the Carnegie Institution of Science in data collected by DECam mounted on the Víctor M. Blanco 4-meter Telescope at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO) in Chile. Discovery pictures asteroid this was taken by Ian Dell’antonio and Shenming Fu of Brown University from the evening sky on August 13, 2021.
Dusk, right after sunset, or before sunrise are the best times to hunt asteroid which is in Earth’s orbit, which is moving towards the two deepest planets, Mercury and Venus.
Following the discovery 2021 PH27 on August 13, 2021, David Tholen of the University of Hawai’i measured the position of asteroid and predict where it can be observed the following night, so that on August 14, 2021, asteroid it was observed once again by DECam, and also by the Magellan Telescope network at Las Campanas Observatory in Chile.
Then, on the night of the 15th, Marco Micheli of the European Space Agency used a network of telescopes 1 to 2 meters long at Las Cumbres Observatory to observe it from CTIO in Chile and from South Africa. In addition there are also further observations to see the newly discovered asteroid using DECam and Magellan.
In principle, all planets and asteroids orbit the Sun in elliptical (or oval-shaped) orbits, with the widest axis of the ellipse having a radius described as the semi-major axis. 2021 PH27 has a semi-major axis of 70 million kilometers. This asteroid has an orbital period of 113 days in an elongated orbit that crosses the orbits of Mercury and Venus. 2021 PH27 is one of the asteroids in Earth’s orbit.
“Understanding the population of asteroids in the interior of Earth’s orbit is essential for completing a census of near-Earth asteroids, including some of the Earth’s impactors that are most likely to approach Earth during the day and which cannot easily be found in most nighttime surveys,” Scott said. S. Sheppard, as quoted from SciTechDaily.
He added, as 2021 PH27 approaches so close to the Sun, “…its surface temperature reaches nearly 500 degrees Celsius at closest approach, hot enough to melt lead.”