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Japanese astronomers in the Kuiper Belt discover a new class of objects



Artistic impression of the newly discovered building.
Artistic impression of the newly discovered building.

The team at the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan has discovered a new class of objects that have long been believed to exist in the Kuiper Belt on the edges of the solar system. It's a small body on a few kilometers.

This newly discovered object has a radius of 2.6 km and 1.3 km radius at the edge of the solar system.

Scientists have discovered the object using the proven survey method – basically watching the stars and waiting for the shadow of the object that passes between the star and the Earth. Because it may be difficult for it to be right, researchers have forced him to observe about 2,000 stars for 60 hours using two 28 cm (11 inch) telescopes located on the roof.

The Edgeworth-Kuiper Belt is a collection of small celestial bodies located behind Neptune's orbit. The most famous Edgeworth-Kuiper Belt is Pluto. The Edgeworth-Kuiper Belt Objects are believed to be the remnants left from the formation of the solar system.

While small bodies like asteroids in the inner solar system have been altered by solar radiation, collisions and gravity of planets over time; Objects in the cool, dark, lonely Edgeworth-Kuiper belt preserve the original conditions of the early solar system. This is how astronomers are studying to learn about the beginning of the planetary process.

Although it is the first object of its class that has been recorded in the Kuiper Belt, the vast rocky and icy debris that extends around Neptune. This detection indicates that Edgeworth-Kuiper Belt's kilometer objects are much more than previously thought.

Additionally, the discovery supports models where planetsimals first grow slowly into kilometer-size objects before they can collapse on planets.

Ko Arimatsu at the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan said: "This is a real victory for small projects, and our team had less than 0.3% of the budget for major international projects. we have made a breakthrough that is not possible for large projects, and now that we know our system works, we will examine the Edgeworth-Kuiper Belt in more detail, and we also have our intentions beyond the unseen Oort Cloud. "

This research emerged in Advanced Online Publication Nature Astronomy on January 28, 2019.


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