A study published recently by Nature Astronomy provided details on remarkable findings about asteroid belts. It looks like large pieces are deviating from the belt and they’re not simple rock fragments which never became planets. In fact, they’re remnants of existing planets.
Researchers made this discovery while trying to predict if collisions with Earth could happen any time soon, since this is the direction towards the asteroid belt is heading. Also, they wanted to find out why the meteors leave their place, but the findings surprised them and made them redirect their investigations.
Their study results could lead to a deeper understanding of our planet’s evolution
The belt was discovered many years ago. It orbits between Mars and Jupiter and until recently, astronomers believed that it was entirely made of asteroids. However, at a closer look, astronomers found that an important percentage of its structure has a different composition.
This discovery was surprising, so scientists decided to study things more thoroughly. They concluded that the material from the asteroid belt is actually remnants from planets. We are talking about at least five space items that could have been there and now were destroyed.
This new theory changes our previous assumptions and brings other ideas on how planets are born to light. Until now, researchers thought that planets grow as time passes. Scientists from the Southwest Research Institute David Nesvorny say that if the theory stands, it means that asteroids are born big.
A possible explanation for this phenomenon could be that the attraction begins right after the circumstellar disc reaches the right size. In addition, more and more matter leads to the creation of new planets or, at least, this is the situation in our inner solar system. The same process led to the Earth’s formation. Scientists say that these new findings can lead to a better understanding of our planet’s mysteries and evolution.
Brad is a former Senior Fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University, is an award-winning travel, culture, and parenting writer. His writing has appeared in many of the Canada’s most respected and credible publications, including the Toronto Star, CBC News and on the cover of Smithsonian Magazine. A meticulous researcher who’s not afraid to be controversial, he is nationally known as a journalist who opens people’s eyes to the realities behind accepted practices in the care of children. Brad is a contributing journalist to Advocator.ca