Above our heads, in the infinity of space, we find many “things”. Satellites, planets, comets, Thomas Pesquet, stars, suns but also asteroids. In this last category, we find Kleopatra, arguably the strangest of the asteroids. We’ll explain why.
He reveals his secrets
Kleopatra was discovered in 1880. But it is only now that it reveals its secrets, thanks to the work of astronomers and thanks to technology. Indeed, the Very Large Telescope of ESO (European Southern Observatory) equipped with the Sphere instrument was able to photograph this asteroid, located between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter and which never approaches. less than 200 million kilometers of our dear Earth. A feat that allows us to see what Kleopatra looks like.
As you can see here and in the video at the top of our article, this asteroid is dog bone shaped, which earned him the same nickname. Kleopatra is made up of two small moons, named AlexHelios and CleoSelene.
Some incredible features
This asteroid is 270 kilometers long and has a density of 3.4 grams per cubic centimeter. Its mass is smaller than what experts thought. As reported by Le Point, “this asteroid was hitherto considered like the densest body known in the solar system, including the planets, and that it was virtually the only potential parent body of iron meteorites that can be found on Earth “.
We also learn that Kleopatra would have a collisional origin and thatit spins in just 5.3 hours. Latest information about it: its centrifugal force is close to the critical threshold, which could work against it at the slightest impact.