By Peter Dockrill
A distant asteroid trailing in the gravitational wake of Mars has been observed in greater detail than ever before, and the close-up reveals a surprising resemblance – one that raises some interesting questions about the object’s ancient origins.
The asteroid in question, called (101429) 1998 VF31, is part of a group of trojan asteroids sharing the orbit of Mars.
Trojans are celestial bodies that fall into gravitationally balanced regions of space in the vicinity of other planets, located 60 degrees in front of and behind the planet.
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