Just yesterday, we examined the many aspects of asteroids which cause serious problems for conventional theorists but which are readily explained by the hydroplate theory of Dr. Walt Brown.

One of the pieces of evidence discussed in that post was the existence of asteroids which share earth's orbit but which do not orbit the earth themselves -- they orbit the sun along the earth's path (and perform complicated dances while they orbit, due to the physics of the three bodies involved -- the companion asteroid, the earth, and the sun).

In the last of the "bullet points" on that blog post, in fact, an asteroid companion of earth, named 3753 Cruithne, was mentioned in the context of the likelihood that such asteroids were most likely ejected from earth itself in the not-too-distant past (probably not more than a million years ago).

Cruithne was discovered in 1983 by astronomer Duncan Waldron (originally of Scotland, now residing in New South Wales, Australia), but its complicated and unusual "horseshoe" orbit was not deciphered until 1997, by astronomers Paul A. Weigert, Kimmo A. Innanen, and Seppo Mikkola, and described in the scholarly journal Nature in an article entitled "An asteroidal companion to the Earth."

Now, unknown to me when I was discussing asteroids yesterday but published in today's edition of Nature (July 28, 2011), Professor Weigert along with Martin Connors and Christian Viellet reveal that their examination of the data of an otherwise-unnamed asteroid known as 2010 TK7 prove it to be the first-known "Trojan" asteroid orbiting the sun along earth's path in the gravitational Lagrange point located 60o ahead of earth when measured from the sun.

Perhaps the best explanation of what Trojan asteroids and Lagrange points are can be found on the web page created for 2010 TK7 by Professor Weigert et al. Other recent articles which do a good job discussing this new discovery include this one from Tom's Astronomy Blog and this one from astronomer Phil Plait's Bad Astronomy Blog (which contains an excellent diagram and discussion of all five Lagrange points around a large orbiting body).

Amazingly, Dr. Brown discusses Lagrange points and the asteroids that inhabit them in his discussion of why asteroids provide powerful confirmation of his hydroplate theory, and he did so well before this new Trojan was discovered on earth's orbit. Dr. Brown notes that:
Without the hydroplate theory, one has difficulty imagining situations in which an asteroid would (a) settle into any of Jupiter’s Lagrange points (let alone one of Jupiter’s symmetric Lagrange points), (b) capture a moon, especially a moon with about the same mass as the asteroid, or (c) have a circular orbit, along with its moon, about their common center of mass. If all three happened to an asteroid, astronomers would be shocked; no astronomer would have predicted that it could happen to a comet.
And yet, Jupiter's L4 Lagrange point (60o ahead of Jupiter along its orbit) has 1,061 asteroids in it, and Jupiter's L5 Lagrange point (60o behind) has 681. The hydroplate theory explains how so many asteroids could have made the required "soft landing" into these points.

As discussed in the previous post, the hydroplate theory argues that asteroids are composed of earth material ejected into space in the violent rupture that initiated the flood and left the scar in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean that is visible in the image on this web page. The rocks and water ejected into space were moving at about the same speed and with the same angular velocity, and some of them ended up grouping together to form larger asteroids composed of rocks packed fairly loosely (hence the surprisingly low density of many asteroids) and held together by frozen ice. Dr. Brown explains what happened next:
According to the hydroplate theory, asteroids formed near Earth’s orbit. Then, the radiometer effect spiraled them outward, toward the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. Some spiraled through Jupiter’s circular orbit and passed near both L4 and L5. Jupiter’s huge gravity would have slowed those asteroids that were moving away from Jupiter but toward L4. That braking action would have helped some asteroids settle into the L4 bowl. Conversely, asteroids that entered L5 were accelerated toward Jupiter, so they would quickly be pulled out of L5 by Jupiter’s gravity. The surprising excess of asteroids near Jupiter’s L4 is what we would expect based on the hydroplate theory.
This same process would explain the existence of asteroids co-orbiting the sun along earth's orbital path (including Cruithne and 2010 TK7), which are difficult to explain otherwise. Dr. Brown says, "But how could a slowly moving object ever reach, or get near, either point? Most likely, it barely escaped from Earth. " In other words, conventional theories have a difficult time explaining how an asteroid traveling through space could approach at such a slow velocity that it would land at one of earth's own Lagrange points delicately enough to stay there and begin to orbit along with earth. However, the problem goes away if asteroids originated from earth in the first place, and those which ended up at the Lagrange points were those with insufficient velocity to escape beyond those points.

Many of the articles announcing the amazing confirmation of 2010 TK7's identity as the first "earth Trojan" excitedly predict that they might become valuable destinations for future space missions, since they are so close to earth and yet may contain rare minerals and non-earth elements (see, for example, this article in Space.com). These predictions are based upon the conventional theory that asteroids come from outer space -- either from other planets or from the hypothetical "pre-solar nebula" that "evolved" into the current solar system.

However, if the hydroplate theory is correct, then asteroids are originally from earth and will not be likely to harbor valuable non-earth elements. Dr. Brown makes the prediction that rocks in asteroids will be found to be typical of those in earth's own crust, and that "expensive efforts to mine asteroids to recover strategic or precious metals will be a waste of money."

One of the most powerful confirmations of a correct theory is its predictive ability: if it indeed represents a better explanation for the world around us, it should be able to make predictions which are later found to be true. Dr. Brown makes many predictions throughout his book, and now that NASA's Dawn spacecraft is orbiting the asteroid Vesta enroute to a rendezvous with Ceres, some of his predictions on asteroids may be confirmed in the next few years.

I take the recent announcement of the discovery of earth's first "Trojan" asteroid to be another compelling confirmation of the hydroplate theory as well.