Rare double asteroid discovered

Rare double asteroid discovered

Rare double asteroid discovered

After the observations have joined scientists from the Arecibo Observatory and Observatory green Bank, it became clear that the object does not consists of two parts and represents two separate asteroid. 2017 YE5 is only the fourth binary near-Earth asteroid ever observed in which the two bodies are roughly the same size, and not touching.

Are those twins? That's how astronomers reacted a month ago when they studied an asteroid called 2017 YE5.

Asteroids come in all shapes in sizes from dust motes to dwarf planets like Ceres, but another thing that sets them apart from one another is their orbital arrangements.

On June 21 and 22, observations by NASA " s Goldstone Solar System Radar (GSSR) in California showed the first signs that 2017 YE5 could be a binary system.

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On June 21, the asteroid got closer to Earth, allowing astronomers to find out more about it. However, if both asteroids are of equal size, the two asteroids orbits around each other as the foci of their orbit sit in empty space.

Astronomers used the world's biggest three radar telescopes: the Goldstone Solar System Radar, the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, and the Green Bank Observatory (GBO) in West Virginia. To investigate, researchers scheduled follow-up studies for June 21 when the asteroid was just 3.7 million miles (6 million kilometers) from Earth, the closest it would be for the next 170 years. The pair revolve around each other once every 20 to 24 hours. 2017 YE5 is one such system - a type of object representing so tiny a percentage of the near-Earth family that only four have been discovered to date. However, radar imaging showed that the duo is darker in color and reflects less sunlight than typical asteroids, making it larger than its optical brightness lets on. Well, when 2017 YE5 was first spotted, we had no clue about its physical properties.

This is extremely rare in binary asteroids, as most pairs usually have one larger asteroid and a satellite that orbits it. Different levels of reflectivity suggests the two rocks feature different densities and compositions. Rumors about the Apocalypse fueled and re-opening of the American scientists that recently discovered a new potentially hazardous asteroids. But if both asteroids are of almost equal size then the foci of their orbit sit in empty space, with neither asteroid acting as the center.

The observation also proved the asteroids to have a distinct gap between them. The Arecibo Observatory is a facility of the National Science Foundation operated under cooperative agreement by the University of Central Florida, Yang Enterprises, and Universidad Metropolitana.

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