Mars trojan

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):

L5 (trailing):


See also


  1. Rivkin, Andrew; Trilling, David; Thomas, Cristina; DeMeo, Fancesca; Spahr, Timoth; Binzel, Richard (2007). "Composition of the L5 Mars Trojans: Neighbors, not siblings". Icarus. 192 (2): 434–441. arXiv:0709.1925Freely accessible. Bibcode:2007Icar..192..434R. doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2007.06.026.
  2. Trilling, David; Rivking, Andrew; Stansberry, John; Spahr, Timothy; Crudo, Richard; Davies, John (2007). "Albedos and diameters of three Mars Trojan asteroids". Icarus. 192 (2): 442–447. arXiv:0709.1921Freely accessible. Bibcode:2007Icar..192..442T. doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2007.08.002.
  3. 1 2 Scholl, H.; Marzari, F.; Tricarico, P. (2005). "Dynamics of Mars Trojans". Icarus. 175 (2): 397–408. Bibcode:2005Icar..175..397S. doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2005.01.018.
  4. 1 2 Schwarz, R.; Dvorak, R. (2012). "Trojan capture by terrestrial planets". Celestial Mechanics and Dynamical Astronomy. 113 (1): 23–34. Bibcode:2012CeMDA.113...23S. doi:10.1007/s10569-012-9404-4.
  5. "List Of Martian Trojans". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 2013-03-04.
  6. de la Fuente Marcos, Carlos; de la Fuente Marcos, Raúl (April 2013). "Three new stable L5 Mars Trojans". Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters. 432 (1): L31–L35. arXiv:1303.0124Freely accessible. Bibcode:2013MNRAS.432L..31D. doi:10.1093/mnrasl/slt028.
  7. Christou, A. A. (2013). "Orbital clustering of Martian Trojans: An asteroid family in the inner solar system?". Icarus. 224 (1): 144–153. arXiv:1303.0420Freely accessible. Bibcode:2013Icar..224..144C. doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2013.02.013.
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