With the help of the Hubble telescope, a team of German astronomers has been able to study and prove the existence of an “unusual object with intriguing features,” a report from the telescope’s official website reported.
The object inhabits the space between the planets Mars and Jupiter, where there is a famous Asteroid Belt. One of these asteroids has demonstrated such unique characteristics:
In fact, they are Two Asteroids in that orbit each other.
The Binary Asteroid discovered by Hubble
These two asteroids actually form the same structure in which one orbits the other, at a distance of 100 kilometers between the two. With almost the same mass and size, they were named 288P.
The discovery is about the “first binary asteroid known and also classified as a comet.” This is because of the 288P, despite being composed of two asteroids, presents a diffuse and bright fog at the end opposite the tail – striking characteristics of the comets and absent in the asteroids.
Asteroid can reveal a lot about the Solar System
Understanding the origin and evolution of asteroids of the Mars-Jupiter belt that resemble comets, if there is more, may reveal important discoveries about the entire solar system, according to Jessica Agarwal, the lead author of the research published in the journal Nature.
One of the questions that this type of study can answer is how water came to a stop or was formed on Earth, as the article exemplifies. “As few objects of this type are known, the 288P itself presents an extremely important system for future studies.”
Jupiter prevented formation of another planet
Professor Amaury Augusto, head of the astronomy department at the University of São Paulo, had already told VIX that “asteroids in the belt are remnants of what is left of the possible formation of a planet.”
As Jupiter has a very large mass. exerts a very strong gravitational force to the point of not having allowed the formation of another planet where today the belt is. The distance between the solar system giant and Mars is 550.5 million kilometers.
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