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The Webb Telescope makes unexpected discoveries at the edge of the solar system

The Webb Telescope makes unexpected discoveries at the edge of the solar system

The dwarf planet Eris and its moon Dysnomia in an artistic representation

© via Reuters/NASA/JPL-Caltech

Pluto has long been considered the ninth planet in the solar system, but farther from the sun, at the edge of the solar system, there is a more massive dwarf planet called Iris. It is one of the so-called Trans-Neptunian objects, a group of celestial bodies in the Kuiper Belt, outside the orbit of Neptune. Now it is owned by a team of scientists James Webb Space Telescope On Iris and Makemake (Another one is a little smaller The world of dwarves) and made an amazing discovery.

Screening for methane deposits

Like researchers in one An article in the specialized magazine Icarus In their report, they investigated the origin of methane ice deposits on the surfaces of Eris and Makemake. They came to the conclusion that Methane It was most likely created by the fact that things Warm beads Displays. It may have produced methane inside, which then made its way to the surface.

It is possible to imagine liquid water under a layer of ice

how Mashable reportsThere could be convection processes within Eris and Makemake that carry methane from the core through the icy crust to the surface. This would cause them to be found beneath the icy crust of things Even liquid water Give. According to the researchers, the methane on the surface was “cooked” relatively recently, so the cores must remain warm.

➤ Read more: What would happen if a giant planet suddenly appeared in the solar system?

Up to three times the distance between the Sun and Neptune

Eris has a diameter of 2,326 kilometers Smaller than Earth's moon (3474 km). The dwarf planet revolves around the Sun in an orbit that, at its farthest point, is three times farther from the Sun than the orbit of Neptune. Makemake is 1,434 kilometers in diameter. On average, its orbit is slightly closer to the Sun than Eris.