It turns out that our fair planet has been tailed by a shy asteroid for perhaps thousands of years. This “Trojan asteroid” is caught between the gravitational tugs of Earth and the Sun, and is doomed to follow us around in our orbit, and there may be others like it. Per the LA Times:
“This is pretty cool,” said Amy Mainzer, a scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory … “It’s a new class of near-Earth object that’s been hypothesized to exist.”
That’s right, folks. Just like this blog, it’s a near-Earth object. And the similarities don’t end there. For one thing, it’s stuck in between two worlds, but never quite joining either. Its origin is alien as it strives for a more permanent home with one of the larger bodies, but will never quite catch up. It lives in the shadow of an Earth that has only now taken notice, while the Sun shines so bright, that it’s impossible for anyone to really look at — forever invisible.
And much like my readership levels, this asteroid is unlikely to see any human contact:
… if more Trojan asteroids can be found, researchers said, they could be ideal for astronaut visits and the mining of precious resources. (This particular asteroid is too tilted with respect to the solar system to make a good candidate, Mainzer said.)
Ouch. That one really hits home…
…like an asteroid!!!