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Lagrangian points of interest

There now follows a ranking of all libration points in the corotating reference frame of one massive body orbiting another.

  1. L1: Located along the line between the two objects, just inside the orbit of the less massive object. The Sun-Earth L1 point is commonly used for spacecraft that observe the Sun or Earth. The Earth-Moon L1 point would be a convenient location for a space station that would help transport humans and objects between Earth and the Moon.
  2. L2: Located along the line between the two objects, just outside the orbit of the less massive object. The Sun-Earth L2 point is ideally suited for space observatories; the James Webb Space Telescope will be deployed to a Lissajous orbit around this point. The Earth-Moon L2 point could be used for communications satellites that cover the Moon’s far side.
  3. L3: Located along the line between the two objects, on the opposite side of the more massive object. The Sun-Earth L3 point has been proposed as a site for spacecraft observing the Sun’s far side, to provide early warning of sunspots before they rotate into view of Earth.
  4. L4: Located along the less massive object’s orbit, sixty degrees ahead. Asteroids orbiting at a system’s L4 point are called trojans; in the case of the Sun-Jupiter system, the L4 trojans are called the Greek camp, and the asteroids are named after Greek participants in the Trojan War. Several thousand asteroids in the Greek camp are known so far.
  5. L5: Located along the less massive object’s orbit, sixty degrees behind. Asteroids orbiting at a system’s L5 point are called trojans; in the case of the Sun-Jupiter system, the L5 trojans are called the Trojan camp, and the asteroids are named after Trojan participants in the Trojan War. Several thousand asteroids in the Trojan camp are known so far.

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