March 21, 2023


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The second Earth in the solar system. Did we know the secret of the Kuiper belt?

The mysterious Kuiper Belt is located on the fringes of the Solar System – a place full of dwarf planets and asteroids. Some of them are in mysterious orbits, and scientists do not yet know what could be the cause. It turns out that if there was a second Earth in the solar system at the beginning of the development of the solar system, then everything makes sense.

The Kuiper belt has long been the focus of astronomy. The discovery of dwarf planets led to Pluto losing its status as a full-grown planet, one of the most famous scientific events of the 21st century. But The Kuiper Belt is known in the scientific community as another, much bigger secret.

Kuiper belt puzzle

There are hundreds of massive objects in the Kuiper Belt – dwarf planets and large asteroids. Some objects are close enough to Neptune to be in its gravitational field of influence. But Some are so far away that the gas giant’s gravity has no appreciable effect on them. How did these objects enter into orbits far from the sun?

Previous models for the development of the solar system were powerless in this matter, but American scientists from Cornell University in another study Offer an interesting solution. As part of the simulation, they put the solar system in the early stages of development An extra rocky planet twice the mass of EarthThen he examined its effect on the behavior of celestial bodies.

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Earth II may be responsible for anomalies in the Kuiper Belt

Scientists say that The second Earth flew away into interstellar space, and disappeared forever into the void of space. First, it led to significant changes in the behavior of smaller bodies, pushing some of them into orbits far beyond Neptune’s gravitational force.

The second Earth hypothesis seems to explain the greatest mystery of the Kuiper Belt, but the scientists themselves pointed out that the work was based on statistical modeling. It can help you find definitive answers to these questions New Horizons probeWhich in a few years will make a third trip through the Kuiper belt. Scientists hope it will provide new clues about asteroids and dwarf planets in the far reaches of the solar system.

Tomas Pubucia, journalist at Wirtualna Polska