Cadi Ayyad University: A potentially binary Hazardous Asteroid discovered

at the Observatory of Oukaimeden in Morocco.


This is a major discovery that has just achieved by the MOSS[1] Telescope located at Oukaimeden Observatory and operated by Cadi Ayyad University.

2017 YE5[2], the name assigned by the Minor Planet Center to this object captured by MOSS in December 2017, is a PHA type (Potentially Hazardous Asteroids).


 We observed with Goldstone and Arecibo radars an object discovered by your observatory –2017 YE5.  Our radar images suggest that 2017 YE5 is an equal mass binary, each component ~900 m in diameter, and they appear to orbit each other with a period of 20-24 h , said Marina Brozovic how work on radar observations of NEAs at NASAs 


She add:  This is only the 4th equal mass binary in the NEA population that we know of, and only  (190166) 2005 UP5 is a larger system than 2017 YE5.  2017 YE5 is the only one with an orbit that resembles a Jupiter family comet, and based on radar images, we believe it is an optically dark object. This could be an extinct comet. Two ~900 m components are for sure much larger than what H=19.2 would suggest assuming an average NEA optical albedo. 2017 YE5 is also a PHA 

Astronomer Claudine Rinner was at the helm of the MOSS Telescope during this extraordinary discovery.


See Animation here:


Data frome JPL for  2017 YE5 :


Figure 1: Image de 2017 YE5 prise par le Tlescope MOSS le 0/06/2018 a 2hTU

 (Crdit : Claudine Rinner)