Jupiter’s backward-flying asteroid from another star system

The interstellar resident is an asteroid sharing Jupiter’s orbit but circling in the opposite direction

Jupiter when it was at a distance of about 668 million kilometers (415 million miles) from Earth.


Cape Canaveral, Florida: Just months after the discovery of our first known interstellar visitor, it turns out there’s another asteroid from yet another star system residing here in plain view.

Scientists reported on Monday that this interstellar resident is an asteroid sharing Jupiter’s orbit but circling in the opposite direction.

They say the asteroid, known as 2015 BZ509, has been in this peculiar backward orbit around the sun ever since getting sucked into our solar system. About three kilometres across, it joined our cosmic club in the first moments after our solar system formed 4.5 billion years ago.

The finding, published in the journal Royal Astronomical Society, comes months after the discovery of our first known interstellar visitor, a cigar-shaped asteroid that zoomed by last fall.

 

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