An international research team have discovered a mysterious asteroid odd couple orbiting each other between the planets Mars and Jupiter. The asteroid duo was spotted by using a Hubble Space Telescope and the binary system may hold secrets on how planets and solar systems are formed. The mysterious celestial object has features of both an asteroid and a comet and has the astronomers intrigued. The two asteroids orbit each other like a couple and exhibit comet-like bright halo of material. Will 12th August 2017 Be a No Night Date? Perseid Meteor Shower to Lighten up the Sky on 11-12th Eve.
The first time that this object was spotted in the asteroid belt was back in 2006 under NASA’s Spacewatch program. However, the astronomers believed that it was a single asteroid at the time. The 288P is the first known asteroid that exhibits main-belt comet-like properties. The asteroid couple has a bright halo of material called a coma and a long tail of dust. The recent Hubble observations have detected activity in the binary system. Astronomers and space researchers are positive that understanding the origin and evolution of the asteroid odd couple will help get clarity on the formation of solar systems. Small asteroid becomes Earth’s constant companion.
According to several reports, the main-belt comets may help to answer the long-standing question of how water was formed on earth billions of years ago. The estimated age of the binary system goes back 5000 years and there are several theories that the asteroid couple was once a single space-rock that broke due to fast rotation. The asteroid couple The research about the mysterious and rare asteroid odd couple is being published in the journal Nature.