A unique type of objects in the solar system is detected

A group of astronomers thanks to the Hubble Space Telescope has discovered an unusual type of objects in the asteroid belt located between Mars and Jupiter, according to Phys.org. During the observations, the researchers noticed two asteroid circling around each other, while they had a bright coma and a long tail, like a comet.

This is the first double asteroid, also classified as a comet. The object received the designation 288P. In September, 2016, until its closest rapprochement with the Sun, it was close enough to the Earth, which allowed astronomers to examine it in detail.

Pictures of 288P showed that in fact it is not one object, but two asteroids of almost the same mass, circling each other at a distance of about 100 km. When approaching the Sun, scientists noticed the sublimation of water ice on them.

Experts believe that the 288P became double only about 5 thousand years ago. Most likely, the object will be divided due to rapid rotation, and the separated bodies will continue to collapse.

Pictures of 288P showed that in fact it is not one object, but two asteroids of almost the same mass, circling each other at a distance of about 100 km. When approaching the Sun, scientists noticed the sublimation of water ice on them.

Experts believe that the 288P became double only about 5 thousand years ago. Most likely, the object will be divided due to rapid rotation, and the separated bodies will continue to collapse.