12th Jun 2013
Mysterious and Well-Preserved Oort Cloud Object Heading Into Our Solar System

What if we could journey to the outer edge of the Solar System – beyond the familiar rocky planets and the gas giants, past the orbits of asteroids and comets – one thousand times further still – to the spherical shell of icy particles that enshrouds the Solar System. This shell, more commonly known as the Oort cloud, is believed to be a remnant of the early Solar System.
Imagine what astronomers could learn about the early Solar System by sending a probe to the Oort cloud! Unfortunately 1-2 light years is more than a little beyond our reach. But we’re not entirely out of luck. 2010 WG9 – a trans-Neptunian object — is actually an Oort Cloud object in disguise. It has been kicked out of its orbit, and is heading closer towards us so we can get an unprecedented look.
But it gets even better! 2010 WG9 won’t get close to the Sun, meaning that its icy surface will remain well-preserved. Dr. David Rabinowitz, lead author of a paper about the ongoing observations of this object told Universe Today, “This is one of the Holy Grails of Planetary Science – to observe an unaltered planetesimal left over from the time of Solar System formation.”
Read More.

Mysterious and Well-Preserved Oort Cloud Object Heading Into Our Solar System

What if we could journey to the outer edge of the Solar System – beyond the familiar rocky planets and the gas giants, past the orbits of asteroids and comets – one thousand times further still – to the spherical shell of icy particles that enshrouds the Solar System. This shell, more commonly known as the Oort cloud, is believed to be a remnant of the early Solar System.

Imagine what astronomers could learn about the early Solar System by sending a probe to the Oort cloud! Unfortunately 1-2 light years is more than a little beyond our reach. But we’re not entirely out of luck. 2010 WG9 – a trans-Neptunian object — is actually an Oort Cloud object in disguise. It has been kicked out of its orbit, and is heading closer towards us so we can get an unprecedented look.

But it gets even better! 2010 WG9 won’t get close to the Sun, meaning that its icy surface will remain well-preserved. Dr. David Rabinowitz, lead author of a paper about the ongoing observations of this object told Universe Today, “This is one of the Holy Grails of Planetary Science – to observe an unaltered planetesimal left over from the time of Solar System formation.”

Read More.

This post has 169 notes
  1. irisblue011 reblogged this from christinetheastrophysicist
  2. chriizt reblogged this from christinetheastrophysicist
  3. themadphysicist reblogged this from christinetheastrophysicist
  4. girlwiththeseacolouredeyes reblogged this from christinetheastrophysicist
  5. attackonganon413 reblogged this from distant-traveller
  6. secretporcupine reblogged this from classicallyforbiddenregions
  7. bvttonsmasher reblogged this from badslvg
  8. jon--eclectic reblogged this from distant-traveller
  9. imwald reblogged this from rememo
  10. the-mack reblogged this from distant-traveller
  11. underneathandunexplored reblogged this from christinetheastrophysicist
  12. uncomfortably-confused reblogged this from peterjasonquills
  13. secondrisen reblogged this from christinetheastrophysicist
  14. circuitdesign reblogged this from distant-traveller
  15. themessthatscalpelsmake reblogged this from christinetheastrophysicist
  16. vanillamode reblogged this from distant-traveller
  17. artista-af reblogged this from lucid-hills
  18. alonza-alzimora reblogged this from distant-traveller
  19. hopeandherb reblogged this from mentalalchemy
  20. acidicangels reblogged this from christinetheastrophysicist
  21. princessbubblo reblogged this from distant-traveller
  22. ad-astra-blog reblogged this from christinetheastrophysicist
  23. dead--and--alive reblogged this from christinetheastrophysicist
  24. jake6240 reblogged this from scifigeneration
  25. bunniesareforlovers reblogged this from christinetheastrophysicist