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On the outskirts of the solar system discovered more than 100 small planets



Scientists from the project for the study of dark energy have developed a new method for finding the so-called trans-Neptune objects - small planets hidden in the dark marginal regions of the solar system. Astronomers suggest that a hypothetical Ninth planet may also be hiding in this zone. While her searches were unsuccessful, but 139 previously unknown small planetary bodies were found. The results are published in The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series.

There are eight large planets in the solar system. The farthest of them, Neptune, is 30 times farther from the Sun than the Earth, that is, at a distance of 30 astronomical units (AU). Beyond the orbit of Neptune is the so-called Kuiper belt, consisting of a large number of smaller cosmic bodies, the largest of which is the dwarf planet Pluto, which until 2006 was considered a full-fledged planet, but then was transferred to the category of minor planets, to which, in addition to dwarf planets also include asteroids.

In total, about 3,000 trans-Neptune objects (TNOs) belonging to the category of minor planets have been identified in the Kuiper belt and beyond, and this list is constantly updated. However, the discovery in question is outstanding. Not only because 139 new objects were discovered immediately, but also because it was done in an unusual way, developed by scientists from the Dark Energy Survey - DES project.

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