Using data from the Dark Energy Survey conducted in 2013-2019 to study how the universe is expanding, astronomers spotted 461 trans-Neptunian objects in a previously unexplored region of the solar system.
Actually, the catalog has confirmed 817 trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs), among which 461 were not previously recorded.
This discovery could help scientists better model our solar system’s formation or the search for the elusive Planet Nine.
Scientists noted in the paper, “This is the second-largest TNO catalog from a single survey to date, as well as the largest catalog with multi-band photometry.”
In 2020, astronomers using the same data spotted 139 previously unknown TNOs. In the new work, using an improved detection pipeline, the discovery reported about 461 more.
Trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs) are any objects in the solar system that have an orbit beyond Neptune. They vary in color: either grey-blue (BB) or very red (RR). They are thought to be composed of mixtures of rock, amorphous carbon, and volatile ices such as water and methane, coated with tholins and other organic compounds.
TNOs orbit the sun at a greater average distance than Neptune. To date, scientists have found about three thousand TNOs.
The new catalog has been submitted for publication and is available on the preprint server arXiv.