Astronomers have observed an object in space unlike anything they’ve seen before: 288P, a binary asteroid – or two asteroids orbiting one other. Just like a comet, it boasts a long tail and bright coma, or cloud of dust and gas surrounding a comet’s nucleus. It’s officially the first binary asteroid they have ever observed that can also be classified as a comet. Continue reading for another video and more information.
“288P is a main-belt comet as it’s located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. Each of the two pieces that make up 288P are about 0.6 miles in diameter, and the research institute said they are unusually far apart: they’re orbiting one another at a distance of around 62 miles. The astronomers also observed ongoing activity in 288P,” reports Inhabitat.