Artist's impression of the asteroid Lutetia making a close approach to a planet in the early Solar System

This artist’s impression shows an event in the early history of the Solar System that may explain how the unusual asteroid Lutetia came to now be located in the main asteroid belt, between Mars and Jupiter. Lutetia is seen passing close to one of the very young rocky planets about four billion years ago and having its orbit drastically altered. Its unusual spectral properties indicate that Lutetia started life as a fragment of the material that was forming the inner planets but it is now found to be an interloper much further from the Sun.

Credit:

ESO/M. Kornmesser and Nick Risinger (skysurvey.org)

About the Image

Id:eso1144b
Type:Artwork
Release date:11 November 2011, 10:00
Related releases:eso1144
Size:3600 x 2400 px

About the Object

Name:Asteroid (21) Lutetia
Type:Solar System : Interplanetary Body : Asteroid
Category:Solar System

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