The asteroid is known for the first time as a "permanent resident" from outside our solar system

    Abdulaziz Sobh

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    The first known "resident" of the solar system that came from interstellar space, an asteroid orbiting backward around Jupiter, has been discovered, scientists announced Monday. "The way the asteroid moved in this way while sharing Jupiter's orbit so far has been a mystery," said Fathi Namouni, lead author of the new study and scientist at the University of Cote d'Azur in Nice, France. Planets and most other objects in our solar system travel around the sun in the same direction. This asteroid is different moving in the opposite direction in "retrograde" orbit. The asteroid has the inelegant name of 2015 BZ509, which indicates the year of its discovery. Astronomers base their findings on extensive computer simulations that show that the object has always orbited in reverse around the sun. "If 2015 BZ509 were a native of our system, it should have had the same original address as all the other planets and asteroids, inherited from the cloud of gas and dust that formed them," said Namouni. The asteroid, about 2 miles in diameter, arrived in our solar system shortly after forming 4,500 million years ago. If it is not native to our solar system, where did it come from?
    "Asteroid immigration from other star systems occurs because the sun was initially formed in a very compact star cluster, where each star had its own system of planets and asteroids," said Helena Morais, co-author of the study at the State University of Sao Paulo. in Brazil. "The proximity of the stars, aided by the gravitational forces of the planets, helps these systems attract, eliminate and capture asteroids with each other," he said. The study comes several months after the discovery of another interstellar asteroid called Oumuamua, which briefly passed through the solar system last fall. Other experts questioned whether the new asteroid came from outside our solar system. "What they say is feasible, but there are other possibilities," Elisa Quintana, an astrophysicist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, told The Washington Post. Quintana, who did not participate in the study, said: "We live in such a dynamic universe, it is difficult to rule out pure chaos and collisions." The authors of the study said that the discovery of the first permanent asteroid from outside the solar system opens questions about how planets are formed, the evolution of the solar system and possibly the origin of life itself. Morais said searching for strange orbits could help scientists identify other alien asteroids hidden in the solar system, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported, "We think others are there at this time. The study was published in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters.