Jupiter’s massive gravity kicked strange Ceres into the asteroid belt

A new computer simulation suggests that dwarf planet Ceres may have been flung by the gravity of gas giant Jupiter toward the sun during the volatile era of planet formation 4.5 billion years ago.

There has always been something out of place about Ceres† At 600 miles (1,000 kilometers) wide, Ceres is by far the largest body in the asteroid beltthe region between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter where space rocks (most of them only tens or hundreds of meters in size and oddly shaped) gather.

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