For the first time in history, astronomers have identified a 1.3 km radius object. This object is located at the edge of our solar system. Astronomers predict that the kilometer sized body has existed for almost above 70 years. The discovery of this object is an important step for understanding the planet formation process.
Furthermore, astronomers have considered this object as a missing-link between initial coalescences of dust and ice and the present planets.
Edgeworth-Kuiper Belt objects preserve solar system’s pristine conditions
Edgeworth-Kuiper Belt located beyond the orbit of Neptune is an amalgamation of small celestial bodies. Of those, Pluto is one of the most famous Edgeworth-Kuiper Belt objects. However, astronomers believe these objects as remnants left over after the formation of our solar system.
On the other hand, Edgeworth-Kuiper Belt’s objects preserve early solar system’s pristine conditions. Thus, astronomers are planning to study them for learning about the process of planet formation in the beginning.
Astronomers predicts Edgeworth-Kuiper Belt’s object to exist from 1 km radii to several kilometers. The difficulties come over in observing these objects directly as they are too small, tiny, dim, and distant. Ko Arimatsu, a research team lead at National Astronomical Observatory of Japan invented a technique as solution against such difficulties.
The technique, occultation helps in monitoring a wide range of stars and watching a passing object’s shadow in front of the stars. However, through using this technique, the team found an event of dimming star. Further research on such event indicates the occultation of 1.3 km radius object passing over the specific star.
Furthermore, this detection helps the astronomers in understanding more about Edgeworth-Kuiper Belt objects. They have also concluded that the Edgeworth-Kuiper Belt’s objects are more numerous than previously thought.