Mars trojan

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The L5 group (shown in green) and the L4 group (light blue) of Mars trojans on the orbit of Mars. Mars is shown in red. The outer orbit is that of Jupiter.

The Mars trojans are a group of objects that share the orbit of the planet Mars around the Sun. They can be found around the two Lagrangian points 60° ahead of and behind Mars. The origin of the Mars trojans is not well understood. One theory suggests that they were captured in its Lagrangian points as the Solar System was forming. However, spectral studies of the Mars trojans indicate this may not be the case.[1][2] One explanation for this involves asteroids wandering into the Mars Lagrangian points later in the Solar System's formation. This is also questionable considering the very low mass of Mars.[3][4]

Presently, this group contains seven asteroids confirmed to be stable Mars trojans by long-term numerical simulations but only four of them are accepted by the Minor Planet Center (†)[5] and there is one candidate:[3][4][6][7]

L4 (leading cloud):

L5 (trailing cloud):

Candidates

See also

References

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  5. "List Of Martian Trojans". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 2013-03-04.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
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