Researchers have discovered more than 100 novel minor planets beyond the last planet of our solar system. The so-called TNOs or trans-Neptunian objects are nothing but minor planets present in the far corners of our solar system. The research released in the Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series, details on a new method for discovering identical types of objects. Even more, it could assist future studies for the theoretical discoveries like Planet Nine and other unfound planets. Professors Masao Sako and Gary Bernstein and a graduate student from Pedro Bernardinelli have directed the research.
The team has used data from the DES (Dark Energy Survey), which has recently accomplished six years of data gathering. The DES aims to recognize the nature of dark energy by gathering high-resolution images of the southern sky. But the survey did not intend to discover TNOs, as its depth of coverage and depth made it precisely adept at identifying novel objects further than Neptune. But astronomers have found 139 new minor planets or say the small entities are revolving around the sun. The study highlights the minor planets are neither comets nor asteroids which reside in the frigid, dark depths beyond Neptune’s orbit. The new add-ons contribute around 5% to the existing number of trans-Neptunian Objects.
The scientists began with 7 billion dots spotted in DES. After that, they divided to 22 million transients after exclusion of objects like galaxies that seemed in coarsely the same spot on multiple nights. Later they picked 400 TNO objects from those millions of objects. It took months of screening and observation for the team to verify 316 of the minor planets. As per the team, these classified objects rest between 30-90 AU from the sun. Above all, the newly-developed techniques by the scientists could assist future TNO searches, including those possibly carried out by the Vera C. Rubin Telescope. Bernardinelli, the study’s leading author, said one could easily apply their array of the programs to any other colossal dataset.