Scientists have discovered two huge red objects in the asteroid belt that, in their opinion, should not be there – both have complex organic matter on the surface.
We are talking about two asteroids, named 203 Pompeii and 269 Justice, which were discovered by specialists from JAXA – the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. The width of Pompeii is about 110 kilometers, and the diameter of Justicia is only 55 kilometers.
The two objects found in the asteroid cluster between Mars and Jupiter are very different from their neighbors. Both Pompeia and Justicia reflect more red light than other surrounding objects due to the increased presence of complex organic material such as carbon or methane on their surfaces.
Generally, objects in the inner solar system reflect more blue light because they do not contain complex organic compounds. Objects in the outer solar system – beyond Neptune – are redder because they contain more carbon and methane, which are red in the visible and near infrared regions of the spectrum. The fact that both bodies are redder than any other D-type body (which until now were considered the reddest objects in the asteroid belt) suggests that they originated from the outer solar system.