New calculations of astronomers then point out that the objects living in partnership in the Kuiper belt were probably originally three – the smallest had to go
Models of the emergence of binary systems, c) shows the funato and colleagues proposed model, in which ultimately two approximately equal partners surround each other, image: nature / joseph burns
After the planet Neptune begins the region of the Kuiper-Gurtels (cf. The momentous hike of the blue gas planet). There, Pluto is classified, which is now classified by many astronomers than planet, but as one of the many trans-Neptune objects (TNO) or Kuiper-Belt Objects (KBO) (Pluto gets competition from the direct neighborhood).
Beyond the controversial ninth planet circle on the edge of our solar system, a large number of smaller frozen rock boulders our central star. Behind it still extends the Oorsche cloud that surrounds us like a hull and pull from the comet to the sun (comets with freezer fire). Where exactly the border on the interstellar space continues, is still controversial (beyond the solar wind).
In the Kuiper belt, also called Kuiper Disk, probably hundred thousand objects from ice and stone move at a distance of more than 4 billion kilometers with circulation times of about 300 years around the sun. Probably most of these deep-frightened relics from the start time of our solar system are very small, at least one is coarse than 1.000 kilometers in diameter (Quaoar shows Pluto the red card).
This band officially also small and small planets called Sky Cards was theoretically already in the middle of the past century by the astronomers Kenneth Edgeworth (1880-1972) and Gerard P. Kuiper (1905-1973) predicted. However, the first object in the Kuiper belt was effectively discovered in 1992. Today, the positions and orbits are known of more than 800 trans-Neptune objects (see. List of Transneptunian Objects).
If Pluto is not a planet, but also a Kuiper belt object, then it is together with his 1978 Moon Charon’s first binary system of the region. Since December 2000, astronomers also observe other double objects: icy boulders that circle each other and pull their train together around the sun. Meanwhile, a dozen are known and, in contrast to the binary systems known in the solar system, in which one or more moons revolves around a coarse body, make very equal partner about the same size. The distance between the two objects is usually hundreds to thousands times gross than their own radius.
How did they arose? This question, about which has already been speculated (cf. Duplicate Kuiper Curtle Objects), now ied an international research team that publishes his results in the Science Journal Nature. Yoko Funato and Junichiro Makino from the University of Tokyo, Piet Hut from the Institute for Advanced Studies in Princeton, Elichiro Kokubo from Japanese National Astronomical Observatory and Daisuke Kinoshita from National Central University in Taiwan calculated in more than 750.000 testing different scenarios and concluded that probably in the partnership of the trans-Neptune objects was originally involved in a third, smaller sky corner each.
Due to their gravity, they attracted one to the coarse partner ashesic rocks and in the following gravity dance the smallest was distributed by the two coars. It is unimportant whether the moon-like, small object was originally through collision or by capturing by gravity to the trabant. The new model offers an elegant explanation for the heap of this form of tandem living together in the Kuiper belt.
In his accompanying newsViews items Is Joseph Burns from Cornell University however to remember that so far is very little known about the Trans-Neptune objects and especially on the duos among them. At least one to two percent – the latest research shows that it may be much more, possibly even ten percent – the deep cool chill in the Kuiper belt circles for two. The objects are so small that their observation in the border range of the possibilities of high-noblim telescopes on earth or the space telescope hubble.
Very closely concomitant sky corpers are previously only perceived as one and not as two individual objects. It is not surprising that only relatively far apart from each other, circular duos were discovered from approximately coarse partners. Burns comes to the conclusion:
The orbits of this rising number of binary systems must now be defined exactly. The information that results from this will be crucial how these objects could have been created at all and then to confirm up to which the mechanism suggested by Funato and colleagues plays a role.