Pair of asteroids "bound" by their own gravity, discovered near the planet Earth

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Known since last year, the object called 2017 YE5 has come close enough to our planet to give astronomers a rare sight.

Being in a separate orbit around the sun, 2017 YE5 has recently passed to about 16x the Earth-Moon distance, the smallest distance it has been in the last 170 years. Using the opportunity to study the celestial body more closely, astronomers from several regions of the world have discovered that it is actually a doublet of two gravitational asteroids, orbiting around a common center of gravity

Relatively common in more remote regions of the Solar System, binary asteroids are rarely encountered near our planet, gravitational forces generated during encounters with other planets and larger asteroids separating pairs formed

According to radar analyzes made using the Arecibo telescope, the two asteroids each have a diameter of about 900 meters and rotate around each other in 20-24 hours. With a duration of 1730 days, orbit around the sun has a fairly large eccentricity, reaching the farthest point to the vicinity of the planet Jupiter

In the event of a collision with the Earth, the two asteroids could cause a cataclysm similar to the one that led to the disappearance of dinosaurs about 65 million years ago. The closest, the 2017 YE5 doubled with the orbit of our planet at a distance of 6 million km, large enough to present no danger in the near future

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