Scientists working at the Japan Space Agency (JAXA), the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the US and the University of Hawaii, together with their South Korean and French counterparts, discovered two objects containing organic matter in the asteroid belt located in the solar system. Detailed information about this is provided in the recently published paper Astrophysical Journal Letters.
Specialists named the space objects 203 Pompeja and 269 Justitia. According to their calculations, the width of the first is about 110 kilometers, while the second is relatively small, namely, its diameter is 55 kilometers. They move in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, although they differ significantly from the astronomical bodies moving there. They contain large amounts of organic matter, such as the chemical element carbon and the binary compound methane. Also, each of them, instead of blue, reflects a bright red light, which is due to a similar composition.
The findings of the authors of the paper support the theory that in ancient times Saturn, Uranus and Neptune moved closer to the Sun, while Jupiter was relatively far away. They occupied the current orbits as a result of a long process during which they interacted gravitationally with the surrounding matter.
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