JUL 15, 2018 6:05 PM PDT

Meet the Rare Binary Asteroid Recently Confirmed by NASA

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

Astronomers first became aware of an asteroid called YE5 in December of 2017, but something seemed odd about it after they were unable to discern its physical properties.

New observations made with the Arecibo Observatory and Green Bank Observatory confirm that the astronomers were right to question the asteroid. As it would seem, YE5 is actually comprised of two separate space rocks that orbit one another.

Radar data reveals that each object measures around 3,000 across. The asteroid binary made its closest approach to Earth on June 21st, 2017 when it came within 16 lunar distances of the Earth.

NASA says these binary asteroids are relatively rare, and that this is only the fourth near-Earth asteroid found to be comprised of two bodies of nearly the same size.

Future observations may reveal more about YE5, but for now, it remains quite the mystery.

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
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