Asteroids Near Jupiter are Really Comets


Two objects lurking near Jupiter and once considered rocky

Using the Keck

Most likely, the researchers say, Patroclus and Menoetius

The finding could mean that many or most of asteroid-like

The findings were detailed in the Feb. 2 issue of the

Patroclus and Menoetius are the only known binary objects

Patroclus and Menoetius are estimated to be about 76 miles

Because most comets are thought to form in the Kuiper Belt,

"It's our suspicion that the Trojans are small Kuiper Belt

According to one hypothesis proposed by the researchers,

During this early period in the solar system, the gas

The majority of them would have been hurled into the outer

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Staff Writer

Ker Than is a science writer and children's book author who joined as a Staff Writer from 2005 to 2007. Ker covered astronomy and human spaceflight while at, including space shuttle launches, and has authored three science books for kids about earthquakes, stars and black holes. Ker's work has also appeared in National Geographic, Nature News, New Scientist and Sky & Telescope, among others. He earned a bachelor's degree in biology from UC Irvine and a master's degree in science journalism from New York University. Ker is currently the Director of Science Communications at Stanford University.