Six years of space exploration beyond Neptune’s orbit have uncovered 461 newly discovered objects.
These objects include four objects that exceed 230 astronomical units (AU) from the Sun. (The astronomical unit is the distance from the earth to the sun, which is about 93 million miles or 149.6 million kilometers). These very distant objects can shed light on Planet Nine, a theoretical and unobserved object that may be hiding in deep space. gravity Affects the orbit of some rock objects in Solar systemEdge.
The new observations are in favor of the Dark Energy Survey, an effort to map the galactic structure of the universe and dark matter, which began in 2013. Six years of observations from the Blanco Telescope in Cerro Trollo, Chile, have yielded a total of 817 new confirmed objects. 461 Of these, it was first explained in a treatise submitted to a preprint server. arXiv..According to, the treatise was submitted to the journal for peer review ScienceAlert..
All research subjects are at least 30 AU away and are in an almost unimaginably dark and lonely area of the solar system. Over 3,000 Trans-Neptunian Objects (TNOs) have been identified in these ice areas. They include dwarf planets such as Pluto and Ellis, as well as small Kuiper belt objects such as: Arrocos, A rocky object visited by the New Horizons spacecraft in 2019. The Kuiper belt is an area of icy objects that orbit between the Sun and about 30 AU to 50 AU.
Of the 461 objects first described in the new treatise, some stand out. Nine are known as extreme trans-Neptunian objects and have at least 150 AU orbits from the Sun. Four of them are extremely extreme, with an orbital distance of 230 AU. At these distances, objects are largely unaffected by Neptune’s gravity, but their strange orbits suggest external influences from the solar system. Some researchers believe that influence may be called Planet Nine, a planet that has yet to be discovered. (Others are the combined gravity of many small objects, or Statistical anomalyPlease explain the strange orbit. Therefore, newly discovered objects may help researchers focus on potential Planet Nines-or disprove their existence.
Researchers have also discovered four new Neptune trojans. Trojan horses are bodies that share the orbits of planets and the moon. In this case, the objects share the orbit of Neptune around the Sun.They also observed Bernardinelli-Comet BernardinelliNamed after two lead authors, Gary Bernstein, a cosmologist at the University of Pennsylvania, and Pedro Bernardinelli, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Washington. The two researchers first discovered the comet in the Dark Energy Survey dataset. Comet Bernardinelli-Bernstein can be up to 100 miles (160 km) wide. It comes from the Oort cloud, another layer of ice objects farther than the Kuiper belt.
At least 155 of the newly discovered objects were what astronomers called “separated.” This means that the gravity of large planets does not affect them much because they are far enough away from Neptune. Instead, they are tied to the solar system primarily by the distant pull of the Sun. Detached objects, also known as extended scattering discs, tend to have huge elliptical orbits.
Researchers write that the findings are exciting because the Dark Energy Survey was not aimed at exploring trans-Neptunian objects. Its goal was to characterize the theoretical dark energies that affect the accelerated expansion of the universe. Nonetheless, the researchers write that the data from the survey contain 20% of all currently known TNOs and cover one-eighth of the sky.
“These will help in a more detailed statistical test of the formation model of the trans-Neptunian celestial region,” they wrote.
Originally published in Live Science.
A space object with a strange orbit discovered beyond Neptune
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