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Formation of a contact binary like 2014 MU69

Formation of a contact binary like 2014 MU69

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NASA / JHUAPL / SwRI / James Tuttle Keane

Formation of a contact binary like 2014 MU69
Binary systems formed when aggregates of pebbles accreted into separated binaries under the force of gravity. Eventually, the orbit destabilized and the two pieces came into contact at a very slow speed of 80 centimeters per second or so.

Most NASA images are in the public domain. Reuse of this image is governed by NASA's image use policy.

Original image data dated on or about January 2, 2019

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