First carbon-rich asteroid found beyond Neptune



At first the astronomers thought it was a mistake. However, the region between Mars and Jupiter did not have enough raw material to give birth to another planet and raw materials started orbiting in the region making a belt known as the asteroid belt.

"Given 2004 EW95's present-day abode in the icy outer reaches of the Solar System, this implies that it has been flung out into its present orbit by a migratory planet in the early days of the Solar System", added Seccull.

So how did the asteroid, which likely originated in the inner parts of our solar system, migrate so much? The Kuiper Belt starts past the orbit of Neptune, roughly 30 astronomical units from sunlight, roughly 30 times the distance between sunlight and Earth, and might stretch nearly as far too interstellar space.

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[3] Other inner Solar System objects have previously been detected in the outer reaches of the Solar System, but this is the first carbonaceous asteroid to be found far from home in the Kuiper Belt. Most of these asteroids were ejected toward the Sun, where other carbon-rich objects reside, but some were sent in the opposite direction, toward the outer edge of our solar system. This eventually threw or what we call as ejected the smaller and tiny objects far away into space. When they found a 90-mile-long object, located 2.5 billion miles from Earth, something just wasn't right - the object wasn't exhibiting the same properties as its neighbors.

[2] Carbonaceous asteroids are those containing the element carbon or its various compounds. Instead, it appeared to have formed in a hotter environment, closer to the Sun. "The rock had been altered by the presence of liquid water". The exiled asteroid was visible because of its unique reflectance spectrum, a pattern of wavelengths of light reflected from an object. However, identifying the chemical composition of such a distant object is extremely hard. Carbonaceous - or C-type - asteroids can be identified by their dark surfaces, caused by the presence of carbon molecules.

"It's like observing a giant mountain of coal against the pitch-black canvas of the night sky", said Thomas Puzia, an astronomer at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile and co-author of the research paper published in The Astrophysical Journal Letter. But now, an global team of astronomers has discovered Kuiper Belt Object 2004 EW95 - a carbon-rich asteroid that supports our gas giants' destructive tendencies.

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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.

We should also probably be thankful for this migration of the gas giants.

Tom Seccull and colleagues, with the help of the ESO's very large telescope (VLT), found an unusual object at the Kuiper Belt.

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