Asteroids orbiting Jupiter

(ORDO NEWS) — Most of the asteroids are concentrated in the main belt, but there are important exceptions. Long before the discovery of the first asteroid, the French mathematician Joseph Louis Lagrange studied the so-called three-body problem, that is, he studied how three bodies move under the influence of gravitational forces.

The problem is very complex and has not yet been solved in general terms. However, Lagrange managed to find that in the system of three gravitating bodies (Sun – planet – small body) there are five points where the motion of a small body is stable. Two of these points are in the orbit of the planet, forming equilateral triangles with it and the Sun.

Many years later, already in the 20th century, theoretical constructions became reality. Near the Lagrangian points in the orbit of Jupiter, about two dozen asteroids were discovered, which were given the names of the heroes of the Trojan War.

Asteroids – “Greeks” (Achilles, Ajax, Odysseus, etc.) are ahead of Jupiter by 60 °, “Trojans” (Priam, Aeneas, Troilus, etc.) follow at the same distance behind. According to estimates, the number of asteroids near the Lagrange points can reach several hundred.


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