How the Bluest Asteroid in   Its Color

the Solar System Got

The blue color of asteroid

 Phaethon has puzzled scientists since the space rock's discovery in the early 1980s.

An unusual blue-tinged asteroid

 likely got its trademark color from intense sunlight, new research finds, solving a decades-old mystery.

The blue color of asteroid

 Phaethon has puzzled scientists ever since the space rock's discovery in the early 1980s.

Now, a new study suggests

 that Phaethon's unique orbit is responsible for the space rock's odd hue.

Phaethon travels around the

 sun on an elliptical orbit that takes it closer to the star than any other named asteroid.

And although this close

 approach is only brief and Phaethon then retreats beyond the orbit of Mars

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