Astronomers spotted a tiny moon in the outer solar system

(ORDO NEWS) — In the far reaches of the solar system, beyond the orbit of Neptune, it is very difficult to distinguish something.

Directly photographing small objects in the darkness of the Kuiper belt – where Pluto is located – is really impossible, which makes the recent discovery even more exciting.

However, if you know where the space object is, you can track its intended path, waiting for it to pass in front of distant stars. This is called an eclipse, and astronomers use it to study all kinds of trans-Neptune objects.

But when in 2018 astronomers used such observations to study one such object, which they had observed for almost two decades, they discovered something really unexpected – a cosmic body.

A study describing the results has now been accepted for publication in Astronomy and Astrophysics, and was first reported by Jonathan O’Callaghan at New Scientist .

The discovered object is the dwarf planet (84522) 2002 TC302.

Between 2000 and 2018, astronomers collected at least 126 observations of the object at various wavelengths (including the Hubble Space Telescope); Using this information, they calculated the potential orbit, size and color of the dwarf planet.

The diameter is about 584 kilometers, and the orbital period of 417 years is in the orbital resonance of 2: 5 with Neptune.

The study was accepted for publication by Astronomy & Astrophysics and is available on the arXiv website .


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