Tedesco, Edward F. Planetary Science Institute, Los Lunas, New Mexico.
- Non-Jupiter Trojans
- Populations in other planetary systems
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
Asteroids located near the equilateral Lagrangian stability points of a Sun-planet system (Fig. 1). As shown by J. L. Lagrange in 1772, these are two of the five stable points in the circular, restricted, three-body system, the other three points being located along a line through the two most massive bodies in the system. In 1906 Max Wolf discovered an asteroid located near the Lagrangian point (L4) preceding Jupiter in its orbit. Within a year, two more were found, one of which was located near the following Lagrangian point (L5). It was soon decided to name these asteroids after participants in the Trojan War as given in Homer's Iliad. Hence the term “Trojan asteroid,” originally referring to asteroids orbiting the Sun near one of Jupiter's equilateral Lagrangian points. With the exception of (624) Hektor in the preceding “swarm” and (617) Patroclus in the following “swarm” (named before this convention was adopted), asteroids in Jupiter's preceding and following Lagrangian swarms are named after Greek and Trojan participants, respectively. See also: Jupiter
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