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490 Veritas facts for kids

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490 Veritas

Name Veritas
Designation 1902 JP
Discoverer Max Wolf
Discovery date September 3, 1902
Discovery site Heidelberg
Orbital elements
Epoch August 18, 2005 (JDCT 2453600.5)
Eccentricity (e) 0.099
Semimajor axis (a) 3.170 AU
Perihelion (q) 2.856 AU
Aphelion (Q) 3.483 AU
Orbital period (P) 5.643 a
Inclination (i) 9.264°
Longitude of the ascending node (Ω) 178.513°
Argument of Perihelion (ω) 196.985°
Mean anomaly (M) 50.159°

490 Veritas is a big asteroid, which may have been involved in one of the more huge asteroid-asteroid collisions of the past 100 million years.

At 115 and 125 km in diameter, Veritas and 92 Undina are the biggest of the 300-strong Veritas family of asteroids. David Nesvorný of the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder traced the orbits of these bodies back in time, and calculated that they formed in a collision of a body at least 150 km in diameter with a smaller asteroid some 8 million years ago. Veritas and Undina would have been the biggest pieces of that collision.

The thought Veritas collision would have been too far from Jupiter for the pieces to have been slung into a collision course with Earth. However, solar radiation would have caused the resulting dust to drift inward to Earth orbit over a time span consistent with the record of dust in the ocean sediment.

Today continuing collisions among Veritas-family asteroids are estimated to send five thousand tons of cosmic dust to Earth each year, 15% of the total.

It was found by Max Wolf in 1902. Its provisional name was 1902 JP.

  • Kenneth A. Farley, David Vokrouhlický, William F. Bottke, David Nesvorný, "A late Miocene dust shower from the break-up of an asteroid in the main belt." Nature 439, 295-297 (19 January 2006) Nature article
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