Image: Ko Arimatsu
Astronomers first discovered the celestial body with a radius of 1.3 km at the edge of the Solar system. The existence of such objects, which are intermediate between the clusters of dust and ice and full-fledged planets, predicted 70 years ago, but still like them the nuclei of the planets in the Solar system were observed. About it reported in a press release on Phys.org.
The found object is within the zone of the Edgeworth-Kuiper, who is removed from the Sun at a distance of 30-55 astronomical units, that is located beyond the orbit of Neptune. Most of the known celestial bodies in that region is Pluto. It is believed that the belt consists of objects remaining after the formation of the planets. Due to the small amount of sunlight the asteroids and comets in this part of the Solar system remained as they were billions of years ago.
The object radius in kilometers, within this range, very dim, so the astronomers used a method consisting in finding stars that overshadowed the asteroid and so the short-term reduce its brightness. The opening of such heavenly bodies confirms the hypothesis that planetesimals — the nuclei of the planets — in the early stage of the reach of small size, and then rapidly increasing their weight, turning into large objects.
Video, photo All from Russia.