Re: Jupiter's L1

Date: Mon Dec 03 2001 - 23:02:55 MST

Miriam writes:
> Just occurs to me that if there is any kind of stability at or near these
> L-points would they have a heap of garbage gathered there?... like the
> huge, floating, seaweed mats in the Sargasso sea? Or am I just showing my
> stupidity?

No, this is a very good instinct. The L1 point we have been discussing
is gravitationally unstable, but the L4 and L5 points are stable.
These are located 60 degrees ahead of and behind the planet in its orbit.

Jupiter's L4 and L5 points are home to collections of asteroids similar to
what you describe, which are named after heroes in the Trojan War epic.
The L4 asteroids are called the Trojans and are named after Trojan
warriors, while the L5 asteroids are named after Greeks. The L4 and L5
points are sometimes called Trojan points for this reason.

So far there have been no successes in finding occupants of the Trojan
points for other planets than Jupiter. Jupiter has the advantage of
being the largest planet and also being near the asteroid belt.


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