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Alien asteroid 2015 BZ509

Alien asteroid 2015 BZ509

Why in news?

  • Scientists have discovered an asteroid named 2015 BZ509 in Jupiter’s orbit.

Alien asteroid 2015 BZ509:

  • Scientists have recently found an asteroid named 2015 BZ509 (affectionately known as BZ) which seems to have been here for 4.5 billion years.
  • This makes it the first known interstellar asteroid to have taken up residence orbiting the Sun.
  • It is not yet known where the object came from.
  • BZ seems to have reached the Solar System when it was forming, when the planets themselves were not exactly where they are now.
  • So it is difficult to figure out where it came from.
  • The Solar System is actually littered with small bodies.
  • BZ itself was discovered in a wide-sky survey of such bodies in 2015, but it took some time for its unusual behaviour to be understood.
  • BZ is in a retrograde orbit, moving around the Sun in the opposite direction to the eight planets, and the majority of other objects in the Solar System.
  • This immediately makes it stick out, as almost everything which formed from the disk of gas and debris around the Sun follows the direction of the star’s rotation.
  • If 2015 BZ509 were a native of our system, it should have had the same original direction as all of the other planets and asteroids, inherited from the cloud of gas and dust that formed them.
  • While this backwards habit doesn’t necessarily mean that a body has been captured into its current orbit, it is certainly a strong hint.
  • Scientists have concluded that the BZ might have been drawn in from another group of small bodies in the Solar System.
  • Asteroid immigration from other star systems occurs because the Sun initially formed in a tightly-packed star cluster, where every star had its own system of planets and asteroids.
  • The close proximity of the stars, aided by the gravitational forces of the planets, help these systems attract, remove and capture asteroids from one another.
  • BZ’s orbital longevity may be a result of its pattern which matches, or is in “resonance” with Jupiter’s.
  • One year in the asteroid’s life lasts as long as a year on Jupiter, even though they travel in opposite directions around the Sun.
  • Scientists are doing more research on the same.



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