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November 7 2012

Near-Earth Asteroid Loses Its Magnetic Mojo

An asteroid that zooms inside the orbit of Venus has lost its magnetic mojo, perhaps after clearing out the debris along its orbital path, a new study reports.

Three decades ago, NASA's Venus Pioneer Orbiter noticed that the near-Earth asteroid 2201 Oljato caused a flurry of magnetic activity whenever it arrived inside Venus' orbit. But more recent observations by the European Space Agency's Venus Express probe don't pick up the odd phenemonon, researchers said.

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