Saturday, 15 December, 2018

Lone asteroid expelled from early Solar System

Carbonaceous Asteroid Found Exiled At The Far End Of Our Solar System Lonely 'exiled weirdo asteroid' found on the edge of our solar system
Sandy Nunez | 12 May, 2018, 08:14

While there's plenty of asteroids on the edge of our solar system - there is an entire Kuiper Belt beyond Neptune, after all - they're distinctly different in their composition from anything in the main asteroid belt.

An artistic representation of the exiled asteroid 2004 EW95, whose inner solar system origins confirm theories about the system's early days. The new asteroid which is now discovered in the Kuiper belt was eventually hurled out billions of miles from the asteroid belt present in between the Jupiter and the Mars. Scientists believe it to be evidence of how our solar system behaved in its early time.

New observations of a faraway asteroid could have given scientists the very first bit of long-sought proof that our solar system's gas giants formerly careened drunkenly through distance, kicking smaller planetoids apart as they lurched half-formed throughout the cosmos. After painstaking measurements from multiple instruments at ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT), a small team of astronomers led by Tom Seccull of Queen's University Belfast in the United Kingdom was able to measure the composition of the anomalous Kuiper Belt Object 2004 EW95, and thus determine that it is a carbonaceous asteroid. But these powerful instruments didn't change the fact that the asteroid, which stretches 186 miles (300 kilometers) across, is 2.5 billion miles (4 billion kilometers) away from Earth. Theoretical models predict that, during this time, objects were flung from the inner solar system to far-off distant orbits, according to the statement. Carbonaceous or C-type asteroids are the most common type of asteroid - Bennu, the target asteroid for NASA's OSIRIS-REx mission is one, but like most of this type they typically orbit a lot closer to the Sun.

In a new find, astronomers are stunned to discover an asteroid orbiting beyond Neptune in the Kuiper Belt. The strong spectral lines radiating from this unusual asteroid caused it to stand out from its peers, which have relatively dim spectra.

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"The discovery of a carbonaceous asteroid in the Kuiper Belt is a key verification of one of the fundamental predictions of dynamical models of the early Solar System", Hainaut said. So you can appreciate how weird it is that we just found an asteroid full of carbon inside the Kuiper Belt, the first known asteroid of its kind.

The 300km-long asteroid was discovered by astronomer Dr Wesley Fraser, of Queen's University Belfast, in Northern Ireland.

ESO is the foremost inter-governmental astronomy organisation in Europe and also claims to be the world's "most productive ground-based astronomical observatory". ESO operates three unique world-class observing sites in Chile: La Silla, Paranal and Chajnantor.

That said, the group turned towards the Very Large Telescope in Chile and took more detailed measurements of the light the rock reflected. And on Cerro Armazones, close to Paranal, ESO is building the 39-metre Extremely Large Telescope, the ELT, which will become "the world's biggest eye on the sky".