Late last December, astronomers at the Oukaïmeden Observatory in Morocco discovered a near-Earth asteroid called 2017 YE5. Now, NASA has announced that the asteroid was actually two objects. Scientists were about to study the space body a little further when they made the discovery in June, when it made its closest distance to Earth.
NASA have since released an artist's concept video of what the binary pair asteroid might look like. As noted by the agency, around 15 percent of near-Earth asteroids larger than 200 meters in size are binaries made of with one large and one smaller objects. However, equal-mass binaries are very rare. The 2017 YE5 is just the fourth asteroid ever discovered to fall into this category.
NASA says the combined analysis from all the observatories teaming up to study the asteroid will help improve understanding of the space bodies' composition, including internal structure and how they are formed.