Studying space object called 2006 VW139/288P, astrophysics, working with the Hubble telescope, found that it is quite unusual in several respects. First, it turned out that in fact it is a binary, that is, consists of two heavenly bodies, one of which revolves around the other. What’s more, both its components combine features of meteorites and asteroids.
The binary object was discovered in the Main asteroid belt located between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. Professionals noticed this asteroid, having a number of features of the comet for a long time, however, only a year ago began carefully watching him and only now came to the conclusion that it possesses some unusual properties. Scientists interested in the asteroid at the time when he left the asteroid belt and started closer to the Sun.
The researchers suggest that 288P when it was the “one” object, but about five thousand years ago was divided into two parts due to excessively rapid rotation around its axis or collide with any other celestial body. Subsequently, the halves were separated from each other, but still fly around.
Scientists discovered celestial body can be considered unique. Objects consisting of two “halves” in the Solar system have been able to find, and the features of asteroids and comets combine, the so-called “asteroids-centaurs” on the outskirts of the Solar system, however, will devour combines all these features and located relatively close to the planets of the terrestrial group, reportedly, failed to notice for the first time.
About his discovery specialists told on the pages of the prestigious scientific journal Nature. In the future, the researchers hope to calculate the probability of the existence of the asteroid belt other dual “hybrids”, having features of a comet, or even to develop an effective technology of their exploration in outer space.