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This is according scientists who say the space rock has an identical composition to some parts of the lunar surface.

Scientists used a tool called a spectrograph on the European Southern Observatory’s 8-m Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile to observe the asteroid.

It allowed them to see how sunlight reflected from it and then they compared it to the Moon.

Armagh Observatory and Planetarium astrochemist Galin Borisov explained: “The spectrum of this particular asteroid seems to be almost a dead-ringer for parts of the Moon where there is exposed bedrock such as crater interiors and mountains.”

We don’t know for sure why that is but one theory is that the Moon and the asteroid have a similar origin or were once combined and then broke apart.

AOP astronomer Apostolos Christou said: “The early Solar System was very different from the place we see today.

“A shard from such a collision could have reached the orbit of Mars when the planet was still forming and was trapped in its Trojan clouds.”

There are said to be other explanations for the similarities though and the asteroid could even be a fragment of Mars itself.

In other news, a moon of Saturn may have the ideal conditions to support alien life, evidence suggests.

It’s a good week to learn about all the planets in our Solar System as an impressive six will be visible in the night sky.

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Mars, Moon, Asteroid, Earth, Trojan, 5261 Eureka

World news – GB – Huge asteroid ‘following’ Mars could be long-lost ‘stolen’ twin of Earth’s Moon

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