Asteroid in Jupiter’s orbit goes its own way

One of Jupiter’s companions is a bit of a nonconformist.

The gas giant shares its orbit around the sun with a slew of asteroids, but scientists have now discovered one that goes against the flow. It journeys around the solar system in reverse — in the opposite direction of Jupiter and all the other planets. Asteroid 2015 BZ509 is the first object found that orbits in the same region as a planet but travels backward, researchers from Canada and the United States report March 30 in Nature.

The asteroid’s relationship with Jupiter is no short-term fling: The researchers determined that the two have shared an orbit for a million years.

 

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