Youngest pair of asteroids in solar system spotted
30 April 2022
The space Astronomers have discovered the solar system’s youngest known pair of asteroids.
The baby asteroids are estimated to be 300 years old from space, making them ten times younger than the previous recorders. This is intriguing astronomy news because the asteroids pass so close to the Earth’s orbit and have traits that are difficult to explain given their young age.
Youngest pair of asteroids
The two asteroids were discovered to have remarkably similar orbits around the Sun after being discovered by sophisticated telescopes in 2019.The larger of the two has a circumference of one kilometer, while the smaller has a circumference of half that. Even though they split from the same parent asteroid, they are now separated by one million kilometers.
Most asteroids in the solar system are found in the asteroid belt, which lies between Mars and Jupiter’s orbits.
These asteroids are known as Near Earth Asteroids because their orbits bring them closer to the Earth than other asteroids. The study’s leader, Petr Fatka of the Czech Academy of Sciences’ Astronomical Institute, called the discovery “very significant.”
- “It’s quite amazing to find such a young asteroid pair produced only approximately 300 years ago, which in astronomical timescales was like this morning — not even yesterday,” he said.
- “To better understand what caused the parent body’s disturbance, we’ll have to wait until 2033, when both objects will be visible to our telescopes once more. It’s exciting to find such a young asteroid pair that formed 300 years ago, which was just this morning – not even yesterday – in cosmic timescales, according to astronomer Petr Fatka of the Astronomical Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences in Czechia.
- Whatever didn’t get absorbed into planets or the Sun when the Solar System originated out of a compact clump in a massive cloud of gas and dust ended up floating around as debris: comets, asteroids, and all that crunchy stuff.
- These bodies are said to have been floating around since shortly before dawn. Astronomers believe that rocky planets such as Earth, Venus, Mars, and Mercury evolved from groupings of such bodies. Asteroids are therefore scientifically interesting objects; not only do they hold knowledge about the early Solar System’s makeup, but they may also represent the building blocks from which our own Earth was born.