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Discovery may shed light on formation of solar system – Science and Health

Discovery may shed light on formation of solar system – Science and Health

Ancient ice composed of carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide (CO and CO2, respectively) has been found in stellar bodies orbiting the Sun in an oceanic region of our system called the Kuiper Belt, now reveals a new study published in the journal Nature astronomy. This group of scientists, which includes the Portuguese Nuno Bicinho, was discovered The University of Coimbra's Faculty of Science and Technology (FCUCC) suggests that these gases may have played a role in the formation of the current solar system when it was still composed of dust and gases about 4.5 billion years ago. Since this time, these objects, which the scientific community calls “transeptons” (Trans-Neptunian objects Or TNO), which orbits after Neptune.


Scientists reached these conclusions using infrared detectors installed on the modern James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), which makes it possible to see these celestial bodies in greater detail. In fact, “everything we saw by analyzing the data obtained with the James Webb Space Telescope is impressive and unique,” ​​says Nuno Picinho, in a press release.

This information would not have been accessible before the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope, since carbon dioxide, for example, in TNO is mostly buried under layers of other materials. All this taking into account the cosmic radiation that collects carbon dioxide molecules with others. At this point, the study shows that carbon dioxide is a common element in the solar system.

“We did not expect to find that carbon dioxide was present everywhere in the region beyond Neptune, the Kuiper Belt, and even less so that carbon monoxide was present in many TNOs. This discovery may help us understand the formation of our solar system further.” “And how these little celestial bodies migrated from one region to another is something we know happened, but it still has a lot of loose ends.”

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One of these concerns the origin of carbon monoxide, which remains largely uncertain. One clue this new study provides is that this gas only appears in objects that already contain a lot of carbon dioxide. “This is very volatile ice,” says the astrophysicist. “The data suggest that it was most likely produced by irradiation of other carbon-containing ice, and is therefore not truly authentic.”

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