A team of researchers has discovered more than 140 minor planets within the solar system. They are located in the dark area found beyond Neptune and were observed by using data collected by the Dark Energy Survey (also known as DES). The researchers used DES data and advanced techniques to learn more about the remarkable objects.
Neptune is the most distant planet within the solar system, and it Is surrounded by an impressive amount of objects.
It is estimated that more than 3,000 trans-Neptune objects are drifting around the massive planet. Among them, we can count asteroids, comets, and even larger planets that are on par with the size of Pluto.
The discovery has been quite unexpected since the aim of the DES initiative is to explore the elusive forces which contribute to the acceleration of the rate at which the universe continues to expand. For the purpose of this goal, DES observed galaxies and supernovae over six years.
About 140 exoplanets were identified in a solar system
Researchers from an American university selected the first four years of observations and employed advanced analysis techniques to trace objects that can move. More than 7 billion dots had been observed at the start of the study, marking the positions of various objects.
A filter was applied as the researchers decided to ignore objects which appeared in the same spot several times since it is likely that they mark the presence of stars, supernovae, and galaxies.
A list of 22 million potential candidates was compiled, and the scientists observed the way in which they moved across the sky. The number was reduced once again to 400 objects. Further research has revealed that out of 316 TNO objects, 139 haven’t been observed before.
It is estimated that the number could increase in the future, as more data offered by DES will be analyzed. The study was published in a scientific journal.