November 14, 2019, 14:04

One of Major Asteroid Belt Objects Could Possibly Be Classified as Dwarf Planet – Research

One of Major Asteroid Belt Objects Could Possibly Be Classified as Dwarf Planet – Research

One of Major Asteroid Belt Objects Could Possibly Be Classified as Dwarf Planet – Research
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AFP 2019 / NASA/ESA/A.SCHALLERTech06:48 29.10.2019Get short URL
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MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The Hygiea asteroid, one of the largest in the main asteroid belt, could be reclassified, as new data obtained after high-resolution imaging observations points to its dwarf planet characteristics, new research reveals.

“Hygiea is the fourth-largest main-belt asteroid and the only known asteroid whose surface composition appears similar to that of the dwarf planet Ceres, suggesting a similar origin for these two objects,” the research, published by Nature Astronomy on Monday, says.

New high-resolution observations made by the European Space Agency’s SPHERE instrument on the Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile’s Atacama Desert, have revealed important details of Hygiea’s surface, size and shape, as well as rotation.

If Hygiea is reclassified, it will supersede Ceres as the smallest dwarf planet in the Solar System.

Ceres is currently the only dwarf planet among the top four largest objects in the main asteroid belt, located between Mars and Jupiter. Apart from Hygiea and Ceres, the top four includes Vesta and Pallas asteroids.

Sourse: sputniknews.com

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