NASA’s Hubble telescope has spotted something hurtling through our solar system that honestly feels more at home in a science fiction novel than reality.
Discovered back in 2006, this object was initially just classified as a run-of-the-mill asteroid.
It wasn’t until recently however that Hubble was able to train its eye on the object and discovered something truly bizarre.
What you’re looking at is not one singular asteroid but two, of almost equal size, orbiting each other at a distance of just 60 miles.
Thanks to Hubble’s incredible footage cometary behaviour was also detected making this the first known binary asteroid that is also a main belt comet.
As the asteroid got closer to the Sun, intense heating occurred causing the comet tail that you can see in the animation above.
NASA researchers believe the cosmic twins are just 5,000 years-old and were likely created after a major impact that caused a larger object to split into the two spinning objects we can see now.
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Main belt comets are one possible explanation as to how water was brought to a bone dry Earth millions of years ago.
Hubble might be 27-years-old but that hasn’t stopped the ageing space telescope from still providing us with a steady stream of incredible images.
NASA will soon launch the James Webb space telescope, dwarfing Hubble both in terms of size and in technological ability. With a vast mirror it will be able to see further than anything before it.
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