Conceptual art of newly discovered KBO. Scientists have discovered a small object in the Kaiper belt beyond Neptune, a kilometer-long world that can shed light on how the planets were formed in the early days of the Solar System.
The find, the first time a world less than ten kilometers away, is found in this part of the solar system, seems to require high-resolution telescopes such as the 10-meter Keck Observatory in Hawaii. However, they were actually spotted by two modest "amateur telescopes," according to a study published on Monday Nature Astronomy . "This is a real victory for small projects," said Co Arimatsu, an astronomer at Japan's National Astronomical Observatory, in a statement that Arimatsu manages the OASES project to open the new object of the belt of the Cape (KBO). "We did not even have enough money to build a second dome to protect our second telescope, yet we were able to make a discovery that is impossible for big projects."
The small size of the site and its remote location can help scientists learn how to form planets in the early solar system. Scientific research suggests that large planets are created after reaching a turning point that causes a "escaping growth" phase. worlds of a kilometer like this have never been integrated into larger worlds, and therefore offer a rare glance at virgin blocks of planets.
Read more: Scientists discover a new dwarf planet on the edge of our solar system
Aimatsu's team discovered the object using the light of distant stars to capture the silhouette of the small worlds in the Kuiper belt. It is sometimes called the Edward-Kupper belt, this area is 30 times farther from the Sun than the Earth and contains thousands of ice objects, including Pluto.
Astronomers use 1
So discovered this little world with a radius of 1.3 kilometers, which is not yet mentioned. Pluto looks like a real giant compared to its 2400-kilometer diameter.
"Big occult studies, as well as OASES and other small projects by amateur astronomers and civilian scientists, will reveal the nature of small external solar systems
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