Artistic interpretation of the 2014 UZ224 planetary body (DeeDee). ALMA caught the faint millimeter glow emitted by the object.
With the help of the Atakam large millimeter-range lattice, astronomers have identified interesting features of a recently found member of our system - the 2014 UZ224 planetary body, best known by the name DeeDee.
It is located three times further than the Pluto-Sun distance and is the second most distant Trans-Neptunian object with a confirmed orbit. New data shows that the diameter reaches 635 km (the largest member in the asteroid belt). It must have enough mass to be considered a dwarf planet, but for this you need to get official status. Behind Pluto there are a lot of objects that exceed its size, but they are too dim, so they are difficult to find. However, ALMA has unique capabilities and allows you to find out more about these distant worlds.
Now DeeDee at 92 a. e. removed from the Sun and spends more than 1100 years to make an orbital revolution. She was found in the autumn of 2016 with the help of a 4-meter telescope named after Victor Blanco. It was part of the Dark Energy Survey project, which is trying to understand the expansion mechanism of the Universe.
The ALMA snapshot shows a weak millimeter glow 2014 UZ224.
Dark Energy Survey offers a huge collection of astronomical images that allow you to search for remote objects. The initial search (almost 15,000 images) yielded results in 1.1 billion candidate sites. Of course, most of them were just background or distant galaxies.
But in 12 pictures the body flashed, which was called DeeDee - short for Distant Dwarf (remote dwarf). But scientists could not measure the size and distance, until they used ALMA, which allows them to focus on heat (a millimeter of wavelength emitted by cold space objects). It is a cold body (only 30 degrees Kelvin).
DeeDee reflects 13% of fallen sunlight. This can be compared to the reflectivity of dried mud. Having collected all the data, the scientists concluded that such objects are remnants of the formation of the system. This is an important discovery, as it proves that modern devices have reached a new level and allow finding more and more distant objects.