Scientists have discovered that the two youngest asteroids are only 300 years old

2022-04-24 0 By

A 300-year old object is rare in a world of millions and tens of millions of years old.Scientists recently discovered two asteroids that are only 300 years old and originated from the same unknown body.Scientists first spotted the two asteroids in 2019 and have labeled them 2019 PR2 and 2019 QR6.At first, scientists didn’t find a connection.Later, several similarities between them attracted the attention of scientists.According to a study published in The Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, they are two homologous asteroids.They split from the same object 230 to 420 years ago, or 265 to 280 years ago, depending on the researchers’ different models.One is a kilometer across and the other is half that size.They are about a million kilometers apart.Analysis revealed that they are all D-type asteroids, meaning that most of the material they are made of evaporates as it heats up near the sun.Of course, scientists rarely find D-type asteroids close to the sun.The two asteroids were no closer to the Sun than Earth when they came closest, hovering most of the time as far away as Saturn’s orbit.Petr Fatka, an astronomer at the Institute of Astronomy of the Czech Academy of Sciences and one of the lead researchers, said: “It is exciting to find two asteroids so young, born only about 300 years ago.On an astronomical timescale, it’s like it was born this morning, not even yesterday.”Scientists still don’t know what kind of object they came from.Some scientists have speculated that they split from a comet and are therefore rich in materials that are easily volatilized by heat.But they can’t see anything cometary about themselves, so this guess can’t be confirmed.So where did these two 300-year-old asteroids come from?This is still a mystery to astronomers.