Orbital stability analysis and photometric characterization of the second Earth Trojan asteroid 2020 XL5
Trojan asteroids are small bodies orbiting around the L4 or L5 Lagrangian points of a Sun-planet system. Due to their peculiar orbits, they provide key constraints to the Solar System evolution models. Despite numerous dedicated observational efforts in the last decade, asteroid 2010 TK7 has been the only known Earth Trojan thus far. Here we confirm that the recently discovered 2020 XL5 is the second transient Earth Trojan known. To study its orbit, we used archival data from 2012 to 2019 and observed the object in 2021 from three ground-based observatories. Our study of its orbital stability shows that 2020 XL5 will remain in L4 for at least 4 000 years. With a photometric analysis we estimate its absolute magnitude to be Hr=18.5 8−0.15+0.16?, and color indices suggestive of a C-complex taxonomy. Assuming an albedo of 0.06 ± 0.03, we obtain a diameter of 1.18 ± 0.08 km, larger than the first known Earth Trojan asteroid.