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Paul Wiegert and collaborators shine the light on very unusual Jovian asteroid 2015 BZ509

Paul Wiegert and collaborators uncover unusual Jovian asteroid 2015 BZ509

It's not unusual for the Panoramic Survey Telescope And Rapid Response System to detect new asteroids in our solar system.

However, when Paul Wiegert and collaborating astronomers Martin Connors, and Christian Veillet looked more carefully at the orbital path taken Asteroid 2015 BZ509, nicknamed "BZ", they were taken aback.

Paul Wiegert jokingly likens this asteroid's behaviour to a clown car playing chicken with oncoming traffic at a circus.

What the team discovered was an asteroid that not only has retrograde (against the flow!) motion, but more interestingly the tiny asteroid inhabits the same orbital path as Jupiter itself. To find out more about how this little David survives against mighty Jupiter, read further on Paul Wiegert's web pages, "http://www.astro.uwo.ca/~wiegert/2015BZ509/".

The story appears in the March 30, 2017 issue of Nature.

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