Asteroid 2019 LF6 is seen here traveling across the sky in images captured by ZTF
on June 10. The movie has been sped-up: the actual time elapsed is 13 minutes.
Credit: Zwicky Transient Facility/Caltech Optical Observatories
Astronomers have spotted an unusual asteroid with the shortest "year" known for any asteroid. The rocky body, dubbed 2019 LF6, is about a kilometer in size and circles the sun roughly every 151 days. In its orbit, the asteroid swings out beyond Venus and, at times, comes closer in than Mercury, which circles the sun every 88 days. 2019 LF6 is one of only 20 known "Atira" asteroids, whose orbits fall entirely within Earth's. ...
2019 LF6 was discovered via the Zwicky Transient Facility, or ZTF, a state-of-the-art camera at the Palomar Observatory that scans the skies every night for transient objects, such as exploding and flashing stars and moving asteroids. Because ZTF scans the sky so rapidly, it is well-suited for finding Atira asteroids, which have short observing windows. ...
To find the Atira asteroids, the ZTF team has been carrying out a dedicated observing campaign, named Twilight after the time of day best suited for discovering the objects. Twilight was developed by Ye and Wing-Huen Ip of the National Central University in Taiwan. So far, the program has discovered one other Atira asteroid, named 2019 AQ3. Before 2019 LF6 came along, 2019 AQ3 had the shortest known year of any asteroid, orbiting the sun roughly every 165 days. ...
In addition to the two Atira objects, ZTF has so far found around 100 near-Earth asteroids and about 2,000 asteroids orbiting in the Main Belt between Mars and Jupiter. ...
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Know the quiet place within your heart and touch the rainbow of possibility; be
alive to the gentle breeze of communication, and please stop being such a jerk. — Garrison Keillor
<<Atira asteroids or Apohele asteroids, also known as interior-Earth objects (IEOs), are asteroids whose orbits are entirely confined within Earth's orbit; that is, their orbit has an aphelion (farthest point from the Sun) smaller than Earth's perihelion (nearest point to the Sun), which is 0.983 astronomical units (AU). Atira asteroids are by far the smallest group of near-Earth objects, compared to the Aten, Apollo and Amor asteroids.
Atira is the name of the earth goddess in the Native American Pawnee tribal culture. She was the wife of Tirawa, the creator god. Her earthly manifestation is corn, which symbolizes the life that Mother Earth gives. The goddess was revered in a ceremony called Hako. The ceremony used an ear of corn (maize) painted blue to represent the sky and white feathers attached to represent a cloud as a symbol of Atira. Her daughter was Uti Hiata who taught the Pawnee people how to make tools and grow food.>>
<<Asteroids is a space-themed multidirectional shooter arcade game designed by Lyle Rains, Ed Logg, and Dominic Walsh and released in November 1979 by Atari, Inc. The player controls a single spaceship in an asteroid field which is periodically traversed by flying saucers. The object of the game is to shoot and destroy the asteroids and saucers, while not colliding with either, or being hit by the saucers' counter-fire. The game becomes harder as the number of asteroids increases.
Asteroids was one of the first major hits of the golden age of arcade games; the game sold over 70,000 arcade cabinets and proved both popular with players and influential with developers. In the 1980s it was ported to Atari's home systems, and the Atari VCS version sold over three million copies. The game was widely imitated, and it directly influenced Defender, Gravitar, and many other video games.
Asteroids was conceived during a meeting between Logg and Rains, who decided to use hardware developed by Howard Delman, previously used for Lunar Lander. Based on an unfinished game titled Cosmos, and inspired by Spacewar!, Computer Space, and Space Invaders, the physics model, control scheme, and gameplay elements for Asteroids were derived from these earlier games and refined through trial and error. The game is rendered on a vector display in a two-dimensional view that wraps around both screen axes.>>