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d) The various features of 288P — wide separation of the two components, near-equal component size, high eccentricity and comet-like activity — also make it unique among the few known wide asteroid binaries in the Solar System.
a) Since only a few objects of this type are known, 288P presents itself as an extremely important system for future studies.
b) Among the questions main-belt comets can help to answer is how water came to Earth.
c) Understanding the origin and evolution of main-belt comets — asteroids orbiting between Mars and Jupiter that show comet-like activity — is a crucial element in our understanding of the formation and evolution of the whole Solar System.