Researchers from France analyzed a large array of data on celestial bodies and discovered 500 thousand previously unknown asteroids. This will help to better understand the properties of our solar system.
A pair of astronomers have discovered and classified half a million new asteroids, which are in the old data, but previous researchers were unable to find them. Finding out exactly where these objects came from may be important for understanding the properties of the early solar system.
Alexey Sergeev and Benoit Curry of the University of the Côte d’Azur in France discovered these objects by automatically analyzing images from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS). This is a large-scale project, the results of which were presented in 2020. Scientists have been collecting data for over 20 years using a telescope at the Apache Point Observatory (New Mexico, USA).
Based on the collected data, astronomers have created more and more detailed maps of the cosmos. The result of the study was a huge three-dimensional map that covers the entire history of the formation of the Universe.
As a result of the analysis, scientists have released a catalog of 1.5 million, consisting of 1,036,322 observations of 379,714 known and unique space objects. However, they also discovered 506,000 moving objects that were previously unknown to scientists. The catalog completeness is estimated at about 95%, and the purity is over 95% for known space objects.
The scientists added that small bodies of the solar system (asteroids, comets) are used to limit the options for the origin and evolution of the solar system. Their orbital distribution and composition distribution are necessary to track the dynamic path from the regions of their formation to their present location.