May 25, 2022

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Astronomers from the Vatican have discovered a mysterious object in the solar system

Astronomers from the Vatican have discovered a mysterious object in the solar system

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In August 2006, the International Astronomical Union deprived Pluto of planetary status. It turns out that Pluto is not the only trans-Neptune body (which orbits the Sun farther than Neptune) of this size. Discovered a year and a half ago, Eris is nearly identical in diameter to Pluto (2326 .) how much for Eris and 2,376 km for Pluto) and a slightly larger mass.

However, Eris was not (as some scholars assumed) the tenth planet, but, along with Pluto and many other (smaller) bodies, was assigned to a newly formed group of dwarf planets. Objects too small to be planets (the smallest Mercury is more than twice the size of Pluto), but too large to count among the enormously abundant asteroids.

Vatican astronomers have discovered a possible dwarf planet

We currently have five dwarf planets in the Solar System, and many more bodies (including Sedna) are waiting to join this group. Now, astronomers from the Vatican Astronomical Observatory (founded in 1576 – one of the oldest still operating observatories in the world) have found another object that has a chance of becoming a possible dwarf planet, or at least a large asteroid.

As the first object called 2021, XD7 . was observed a priest Richard Boyle in December 2021 using the Vatican telescope The value added tax in Arizona is located in United States of America. The data was then analyzed by Lithuanian astronomer Casimiras Cernes, and American researcher Peter Ferris of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory calculated the object’s orbit.

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According to scientists, the body revolves around the sun along an elongated orbit and inclined to the ecliptic (in general, the plane at which the planets of the solar system move). At perihelion (the point of orbit closest to the Sun) 2021 XD7 is about 30 AU (30 times the distance between the Sun and Earth) from our star, and at aphelion is about 60 AU from it. So it’s at perihelion at the orbit of Neptune, but it’s no closer to the Sun than this planet is. It takes a complete orbit around the Sun 2021 XD7 as much as 287 Earth years (1 year on Neptune is less than 165 Earth years).

The mantle will help in the search for Planet X

Unfortunately, scientists have not yet calculated the exact size of the newly discovered object, but noted that it is almost certainly smaller than Pluto. With a sufficiently large diameter (about 900-1000 kilometers at least), it will have a chance of becoming a dwarf planet in the future. For now, it is just a trans-Neptune object, and only subsequent observations will allow us to learn more about it Title.

The researchers added that this discovery could also help in the future search for a hypothetical ninth planet (The tenth planet is called), which will be hidden in distant regions of the solar system. If present, it could gravitationally affect (disrupt) the orbits of objects such as the recently discovered asteroid 2021 XD7.

More space curiosities can be found at Gazeta.pl