An illustration by ESO / M. Japanese astronomers noticed evidence of a small object on the outer edge of the Sun System by using a pair of telescopes that you can buy online, according to new paper.
Kept Belt objects (KBOs) merge remains from the earliest days of the solar system and include smaller rocks like the recently visited MU69 and the dwarves such as Pluto and Eris. But smaller objects, especially those with radii between 1 and 10 kilometers (from 0.6 to 6 miles), may seem impossible to detect. Now a team of Japanese scientists think they have noticed such an object with the help of consumer telescopes.
KBOs are incredibly vague, as you can expect, given their distance and relatively small size, and so can be undetectable even with Earth's largest telescopes. That's why scientists have to be creative to learn how to notice them. Like the way others have seen exoplanets, these astronomers have searched for the CBO signature, which passes in front of a distant star, creating an episode in the light that reaches us.
Researchers have searched for these "occluding" events with a $ 6,000 pair of Celestron telescopes, each equipped with an astronomical camera and an attachment to increase the maximum aperture of the camera and increase the field of view. The combined system costs astronomers a total of $ 16,000 and can observe 2000 stars at the same time. Observations took place between June 25, 2016 and August 1, 2017, on a roof of a school on the island of Miyako, southwest of Okinawa
The data from the two telescopes showed simultaneous immersion in the light of only one of the stars in the region observed by the telescope – proof that an object has passed this star. If CBC caused a dip, it would be somewhere about 1.3 kilometers in radius to produce a dip in the light of the instruments, according to the publication published in Nature Astronomy.
A researcher who did not participate in the study Astrophysicist of the Institute of Technology, Constantin Battigin, said he was charming. He said the work was "an important preliminary idea of what the global structure of the external area of the solar system looks like."
Preliminary is a key word here. Of course, placing telescopes and the fact that both telescopes measure light immersion exclude things like birds or planes. But this is not the result of the smoking gun – this is the first proof that could have noticed KBO with a kilometer. They excluded other possibilities, mainly by probability, thinking that dimming is far less likely to be caused by the asteroid belt or other objects of the Solar System based on previous studies in the sky. based methods to find these vague objects. "With the conventional observations of the objects on the keper's belt, you only see the reflected light, so you do not know if you've found something small and light or something big and dark," said Battigin. "In eclipses, you actually deal with the size and shape of the object you are watching."
Researchers are now planning more occult quests. And hey, if you have a few thousand dollars, maybe you can help.