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List of objects at Lagrangian points

By Wikipedia,
the free encyclopedia,

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_objects_at_Lagrangian_points

This is a list of known objects which occupy, have occupied, or are planned to occupy any of the five Lagrangian points of two-body systems in space.


A diagram showing the five Lagrangian points in a two-body system
A diagram showing the five Lagrangian points in a two-body system

Sun-Earth Lagrangian points

L1

L1 is the Lagrangian point located approximately 1,500,000 km towards the Sun away from the Earth.

Past probes

  • International Cometary Explorer, formerly the International Sun-Earth Explorer 3 (ISEE-3), diverted out of L1 in 1983 for a comet rendezvous mission. Currently in solar orbit, it may be captured in 2014 when it next approaches Earth.
  • NASA's Genesis probe collected solar wind samples at L1 from December 3, 2001 to April 1, 2004, when it returned to Earth.

Present probes

Planned probes

Cancelled probes

  • The Triana satellite, designed to monitor global warming.

L2

L2 is the Lagrangian point located approximately 1,500,000 km away from the Earth in the direction opposite the Sun.

Past probes

Present probes

Planned probes

Cancelled probes

L3

L3 is the Lagrangian point located on the side of the Sun opposite the Earth, slightly outside the Earth's orbit.

  • There are no known objects in this orbital location.

L4

L4 is the Lagrangian point located close to the Earth's orbit 60° ahead of the Earth.

  • STEREO A (Solar TErrestrial RElations Observatory – Ahead) The twin STEREO spacecraft passed through L4 and L5 in autumn 2009.
  • Dust clouds

L5

L5 is the Lagrangian point located close to the Earth's orbit 60° behind the Earth.

  • STEREO B (Solar TErrestrial RElations Observatory – Behind)
  • Spitzer is in an earth-trailing heliocentric orbit drifting away circa 0.1 AU per year. In circa 2013-15 it will pass L5 in its orbit.
  • Dust Clouds

Earth-Moon Lagrangian points

L2

  • None

L4 and L5

  • possible Kordylewski clouds
  • STEREO A and B will search for Earth Lagrangian asteroids as they pass through the L4 and L5 regions, respectively, in 2010. They will have another opportunity as they loop back around through the opposite Lagrangian points several years later.
  • future location of TDRS-style communication satellites to support L2 satellite

Proposed objects

In his book "The High Frontier" Dr. Gerard O'Neill proposed the establishment of gigantic Space Islands in L5. The inhabitants of the L5 Society should convert Lunar material to huge solar power satellites.

Sun-Mars Lagrangian points




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Published - July 2009














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