NASA scientists made an amazing discovery within the boundaries of our solar system. By using Hubble Space Telescope, they discovered a moon orbiting around one of the dwarf planets in the system. Known as 2007 OR10, or Snow White, it represents the third largest cosmic object of the type found in our solar system.
- Researchers found a new moon belonging to one of the dwarf planets in the solar system.
- Snow White, or 2007 OR10, is the third largest dwarf planet in our system.
- The moon was discovered with the help of Hubble Space Telescope.
After the telescope detected the new moon, scientists confirmed its nature after performing advanced analyses in three different space observatories. The discovery might help them in finding out how moons are formed. It indicates that frequent collisions took place at the time when dwarf planets formed. Csaba Kiss, scientist at the Konkoly Observatory in Budapest, supports this hypothesis.
“If there were frequent collisions, then it was quite easy to form these satellites.”
The dwarf planet Snow White is situated in the Kuiper Belt, a cold area which formed around 4.6 million years ago. The Kuiper Belt is spread beyond Neptune, close to Pluto and to other frozen cosmic bodies. Snow White is the third biggest dwarf planet in the solar system.
NASA found a total of nine dwarf planets in our system. Most of them are small, and lack the physical properties necessary to be regarded as planets. 2007 OR10 measures 950 miles in diameter, and its moon is around 240 and 400 kilometers wide.
Researchers think that, due to the fact that the area was full of smaller cosmic bodies, they crashed into each other and formed this moon. They needed the optimal speed to create a natural satellite, and not just debris or a crater. In fact, the gravitational force was responsible with displacing these bodies out of their orbits, and offering them the ideal speed to crash and create a new object.
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons