Using the Gemini Observatory and the Canada-France-Hawaii telescope, Dr. Wes Fraser and his team were able to create a unique study with global significance.
The goal focused on the Kuiper belt - the area behind the gas giant Neptune (has more than 1,700 objects from the early Solar system). Usually these bodies are endowed with red. But in the course of the study, Fraser found a certain number of “strange” objects that were blue and compressed in binary pairs, rotating around each other.
Astronomers have always believed that such objects were formed in the Kuiper belt, but this study takes them closer to the Sun. Then they were captured by a gravitational push Neptune and transferred to today's orbit several billion years ago.
According to the study, once Neptune was closer to the star. Moreover, if he moved from 20 a. e. on today's 30 a. e., then this journey was slow and calm. This allowed freely coupled binary systems to reach without division into separate objects. “It allows you to take a fresh look at the early stages of the growth of the planets. Now we understand how and where these blue binary systems appeared, ”said Fraser.
Gemini Observatory (right) and Canada-France-Hawaii telescope (left).
There was evidence that Neptune moved out 30 a. e. But this hypothesis requires that the journey of Neptune go smoothly and calmly. The program simultaneously used two telescopes to collect the most complete spectral information, covering ultraviolet, optical and near infrared radiation.
Simultaneous observations made it possible to measure light from the same side of the Kuiper belt object, eliminating one of the main problems arising in the study of rotating bodies.