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FG News

ASTRONOMERS USE ALMA TO INVESTIGATE DEEDEE

24 Apr 17

Astronomers have used ALMA to investigate our solar system’s far-flung planetary body- 2014 UZ224, also known as DeeDee. The study which has given extraordinary details of DeeDee has been published in Astrophysical Journal Letters.

Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) is an international astronomy facility which is a collaboration of ESO; National Institute of Natural Sciences, Japan; and the U.S. National Science Foundation.

ALMA detects the heat emitted naturally by cold objects in space in the form of millimeter-wavelength light. The heat signature from any distance solar body will directly be proportional to its size.

DeeDee is the second most distant TNO (Trans-Neptunian Object) known. The ALMA study found for the first time that Deedee is approximately 635 kms across, and is currently 92 astronomical units away from the sun. This huge distance makes DeeDee take 1,100 years to complete one revolution around the sun.

Bodies like DeeDee are cosmic leftovers from the solar system’s formation. Their physical properties and objects reveal significant details regarding the formation of planets, including earth. The study also shows that it is possible to detect and study very distant and still unknown slow moving objects in our solar system. 

Content: www.astrobio.net


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