Discovery at the edge of the solar system: a mysterious rock, It may be the missing link in the evolution of the solar system
|Unexplained discoveries in the solar system 2019 | Science Blog.|
Scientists have claimed that the mysterious object is the first discovery of its kind and may be the missing link in the evolution of the early solar system.
The large body, uncovered by a Japanese team of researchers, may help us learn how the solar system evolved. It is defined as a critical intermediate step in understanding how little ash clouds and ice have become the planets we know today.
The rock was discovered in the Kuiper belt - a collection of bodies orbiting the Sun in orbit beyond the planet Neptune, the farthest planet. The most famous of these bodies is Pluto, once classified as a planet but later changed to a dwarf planet.
The ice bodies found in the Kuiper belt are probably remnants of the solar system. Small objects like asteroids within the solar system have been modified over time by solar radiation, collisions and gravity of the planets.
But objects in the cold and dark Kuiper belt have been preserved under the early conditions of the solar system, so astronomers are interested in exploring them.
It was estimated that the Kuiper Belt had objects within a radius of more than one kilometer, but they were far too small and too dim for a telescope to study directly, but the Japanese research team managed to do so using a technique called eclipse, Of objects as they passed before the stars.
The team, placed telescopes on the island of Miyako in Okinawa and tested about 2,000 stars for 60 hours. They discovered that one star appeared dim when the shadow of a 2.4-km-wide object obscured it.
This supports models by which finite particles created by the formation of dust and small bodies, and can form a planet, grew slowly to objects a kilometer in size before eventually becoming planets.
The study was published in the journal Nature Astronomy.