Exiled Asteroid: Ancient Space Rock Ejected From Inner Solar System Discovered


The researcher's community believed that the asteroid was formed in the asteroid belt.

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.

The lack of fellow asteroids from the inner solar system does not mean 2004 EW95 is alone - it simply exemplifies the difficulty in observing objects that are so far away, even with the very best technology available. Since objects high in carbon aren't common out in the Kuiper Belt - an icy region past Neptune - verifying their distant existence could further support the current formation theory. It originally existed in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, but now sits beyond Neptune in a disc-shaped region called the Kuiper belt, about four billion kilometers away from Earth.

"The asteroid was first discovered in the Wesley Fraser, an astronomer at Queen's University Belfast in the United Kingdom, using NASA's iconic Hubble Space Telescope".

Some theories point to the behavior of gas giants like Saturn and Jupiter during the early stages of the Solar System's formation. The newly discovered space rock, which they named 2004 EW95, was something the scientists would have expected to have seen in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.

"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.

Some scientific models already suggested that some carbonaceous asteroids could have been expelled to the Kuiper belt, but until now no one had been able to detect it reliably. As astronomer Thomas Puccia of the Catholic University of Chile said, "it's like watching a giant coal mountain with a dark night sky background". "Because the spectrum was not typical for objects observed in this region", it looked enough of a weirdo for us to take a closer look", said Tom Seccull, a researcher at Queen's University Belfast and the lead author of a new paper that explains these findings.

Two features of the object's spectra were particularly eye-catching and corresponded to the presence of ferric oxides and phyllosilicates.

[2] Carbonaceous asteroids are those containing the element carbon or its various compounds.

"The discovery of a carbonaceous asteroid in the Kuiper Belt is a key verification of one of the fundamental predictions of dynamical models of the early Solar System", said ESO astronomer Olivier Hainaut. But they started their outwards migration not long after the solar system was formed, and as they did so, they created all sorts of chaos.

A fragment from the early days of our solar system has been discovered 4 billion kilometres from Earth.

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