Scientists find "missing link" in theory about how planets are formed


For several decades, astronomers have been waiting to prove a theory about how planets are formed from small asteroid-like objects called Edgeworth-Kuiper Belt Objects in our solar system.

The existence of these objects had been predicted, but since they were so far, small and dark – even for the world's leading telescopes – it was hard to find a way to observe them directly.

As a result, it was not possible to adequately prove the formation theory of the planet – however, scientists at the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NOAJ) are now certain that they have succeeded in doing so, according to a report by Nature Astronomy.

The team used a simple but effective method

As the team had only a very limited budget for the project, they decided to mount two relatively small telescopes to observe the sky.

The team selected 2,000 stars and meticulously observed them for about 60 hours.

See More Information: Japanese robots transmitted the first photos of an asteroid 280 million kilometers

The small size of the object the team encountered as well as poor visibility made it difficult to identify the team for sure – using an extremely simple search method, however, they have successfully found clear evidence that they will play immensely. important role in astronomy.

A full view of Pluto as seen by the New Horizons spacecraft in July 2015.

To locate the planetesimal, the researchers used a technique called the concealment method, where, according to scientists, the main task involves "monitoring a large number of stars and observing the shadow of an object passing in front of one of the stars."

Astronomers were able to identify an object with a radius of 1.3 kilometers, not far from Pluto.

"We have not even had enough money to build a second summit to protect our second telescope, but we have been able to make a discovery that is impossible for large projects, "said astronomer and project manager Ko Arimatsu of the NAOJ.

This is a very significant finding for scientists

Some may wonder why this discovery is more exciting than others. The special thing about this newly discovered object is that, as scientists suspect, it is the kind of object that would be crucial in the formation of planets – from small amalgamations of dust and ice to the fully formed planets with which we are familiar.

The theory behind the formation of the planet had not been proven, however, this object speaks clearly in favor of the planetary theory theory "planetesimal".

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Astronomers also announced in the press release that they will continue their research in the field to find more evidence to support the theory.


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