Astronomers have confirmed the presence of an interstellar visitor in our solar system. The object is an asteroid that did not belong to the solar system, but came from outer space.
The 2015 Asteroid called BZ509 is two miles wide and entered our solar system about 4.5 billion years ago. A series of 1 million simulations helped set the timeframe. The asteroid shares the orbital space of the planet Jupiter, but it has an unusual trajectory. All planets and most asteroids in our solar system orbit the Sun in the same direction called prograde motion. But in 2015 BZ509 orbits the sun backwards or in the opposite direction to most objects in our solar system. So, if an object is traveling in the wrong direction, an external factor must be at play.
"How the asteroid came this way while sharing the orbit of Jupiter was a mystery," explains lead author Dr. Fathi Namouni. "If 201
Although an object known as "Oumuamua is the first interstellar visitor to be observed and confirmed by astronomers, it was only a tourist that passed by, but 2015 BZ509 is different." It is a long-term or permanent resident who gave it to the first interstellar visitors allowed to stay in our solar system, the asteroid must have been captured by another system.
"Asteroid immigration from other star systems occurs because the Sun initially originated in a densely packed star cluster where every star would be Co-author Dr. Helena Morais said, "The proximity of the stars, aided by the gravitational forces of the planets, helps these systems attract, remove and capture asteroids."
With its unusual orbit The asteroid could prove to be valuable and new clues to others provide solar systems.