Researchers studying the orbit of the sun have discovered a pair of asteroids formed less than 300 years ago, a new study has shown.
Details of the new findings were published in a report from the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.
The find of twin asteroids 2019 PR2 and 2019 QR6 makes it the youngest find in the solar system.
Astronomer Petr Fatka of the Astronomical Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences said: "It's very exciting to find such a young asteroid pair that was formed only about 300 years ago, which was like this morning – not even yesterday – in astronomical timescales."
The two asteroids were first discovered in 2019 when teams of scientists used the Hawaii-based Pan-STARRS1 survey telescope and the Catalina Sky Survey in Arizona.
Observations revealed that the two rocks had very similar surfaces, strongly indicating that the two asteroids came from the same parent object.
Scientists also uncovered that the asteroids, which are 600,000 miles apart, had properties unusual for such a young age, The Sun reported.
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Nicholas Moskovitz of Lowell Observatory said: "In the present day, the bodies don't display any signs of cometary activity. So it remains a mystery how these objects could have gone from a single parent body to individually active objects, to the inactive pair we see today in just 300 years.
According to the study, the biggest question around the asteroids are "whatever these objects derived from a parent comet or asteroid and how activity may have evolved since their separation".
The asteroids were closest they have ever been to Earth in October 2019, and are expected to get just as close on November 2047.
Scientists are aiming to gather data on the newly found rocks sometime in 2033 when the asteroids will next be visible from Earth.
Researchers are hoping the mysterious rocks will give insight into how asteroids behave and form.
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