Mohamad Ali-Dib, a research scientist at the NYU Abu Dhabi Centre for Astro, Particle, and Planetary Physics, has in a new report highlighted that two groups of Trans-Neptunian Objects (TNO) with different surface colours have different orbital patterns.
What are Trans-Neptunian Objects?
Let’s go to the route of definition to avail our readers the opportunity of understanding this new discovery.
Trans-Neptunian Objects (TNOs), are small objects that orbit the sun beyond Neptune, they are called fossils from the early days of the solar system which can tell us a lot about its formation and evolution.
The implication of this is that the data collected in the report can be used to create new insights in the Kuiper Belt evolution and the solar system as a whole.
In the paper titled: ‘The rarity of very red TNOs in the scattered disk, which was published in The Astronomical Journal’, Mohamad and other researchers narrated how their study of the TNO’s chemical composition enabled them to understand the dynamic history of the Kuiper Belt. In the report, the TNO’s are either termed “Less Red”, dubbed as Grey or “Very Red, dubbed as Red due to their surface colours. It was also discovered that that the grey and red TNO’s have a great deal of difference in their orbital patterns.
With more studies, it was determined that the tow TNO groups were formed in different locations, which accounted for the contrast in their orbits and colours.
Different Solar system models had shown the evolvement of the Kulper Belt, but the models only studied differently the orbital structures and colours origin but did not show them simultaneously.
Elated Mohamad Ali-Dib gave a final shot on the report when he opined:
“With more data, our team’s work could be applied to more detailed solar system models and has the potential to reveal new insights about the solar system and how it has changed over the course of time,”
Reference: “The Rarity of Very Red Trans-Neptunian Objects in the Scattered Disk” by Mohamad Ali-Dib, Michaël Marsset, Wing-Cheung Wong and Rola Dbouk, 16 June 2021, The Astronomical Journal.