The Extended Reach of Our Solar System

Astronomers have long known that objects from beyond the edge of our Solar System often pass through but recent findings show that the boundaries of our star system may be further than expected.

Oct 8, 2023 - 22:57
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The Extended Reach of Our Solar System

Astronomers have long known that objects from beyond the edge of our Solar System often pass through but recent findings show that the boundaries of our star system may be further than expected.

In a recent study, researchers looked at the paths of certain bodies in space that orbit our Solar System’s sun. Using a computer model, they tracked the paths of bodies that were likely to have come from beyond the edge of our Solar System. They found that these distant objects appear to originate from much further distances than expected.

The study’s lead author, Gongjie Li, of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics explains that this discovery may “challenge existing theories of solar system formation.” The implication is that the Solar System is much bigger than anyone previously believed.

This is because the outer reaches of the Solar System are a cold vacuum, so it would be impossible for these objects to have been created in the Solar System’s habitable zone. The findings of the study suggest that some of the objects, such as comets, were created in the cold expanse of interstellar space.

The team used the observations of a distant object called 2015 BP519 as a starting point for the study. This object is part of a group known as extreme trans-Neptunian objects, which are small bodies that orbit the sun in distant parts of the Solar System. The researchers used the orbits of other objects like it to track their paths and discovered they extended much further than expected.

The study suggests that the Solar System’s reach is more extensive than commonly thought and may help explain other phenomena in the Solar System. The possibility that objects from outside the Solar System are capable of travelling through the vacuum of space and entering into our Solar System is an exciting idea for future research.