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'Alien asteroid' may be the oldest object in the solar system
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
By Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - An "alien asteroid" that circles the sun in the giant gas planet Jupiter's orbital path, but hurtling in the opposite direction, is the first-known permanent resident of our solar system that astronomers have concluded originated in another star system. Researchers said on Monday a close examination of the asteroid's orbit indicated it formed elsewhere and was captured by gravitational forces when our solar system -- the sun, planets and various other objects -- formed from a swirling cloud of gas and dust about 4.5 billion years ago. "It is a strong candidate for the oldest object in the solar system," said astronomer Fathi Namouni of Observatoire de la Côte d'Azur in France. read more
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