The strange object is both a double asteroid and a comet in the Solar System that confuses astronomers

The Hubble Space Telescope just observed a strange object in the Solar System. Although the two asteroids move around each other, it carries a number of characteristics such as glowing surrounding gas and a long tail of comets.

The Hubble Space Telescope just observed a strange object in the Solar System. Although the two asteroids move around each other, it carries a number of characteristics such as glowing surrounding gas and a long tail of comets.

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The researchers first discovered this object in 2006, and named it 2006 VW139. At that time, they all assumed that this was a celestial body belonging to the asteroid belt between Mars and normal Jupiter.

The strange object is both a double asteroid and a comet in the Solar System that confuses astronomers Picture 1
The strange object is both a double asteroid and a comet in the Solar System that confuses astronomers Picture 2
During September 2016, Hubble captured these celestial images clearly showing its tail like a comet.(Photo: NASA.)

And until 2012 astronomers realized there was something confusing about this object, which was an asteroid but possessed some comet-like properties and a long tail behind it.

Previously, astronomers had discovered comets in the asteroid belt, though it was not so common. But 2006 VW139 is very special, this asteroid has two separate parts.

2006 VW139 is a unified block cut into two blocks of equal size, moving around each other at distances less than 100 km. Researchers have yet to find the reason for this division.

In September of the last year, Hubble captured clearer images of the core and tail of this pair of objects as they reached the near-point - the closest point to the Sun in its orbit.

Researchers believe that, due to the pressure of the rotation around the axis, 2006 VW139 was split in half from 5,000 years ago. Gas streams are released after the separation process, making it more powerful and faster.

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