4.5 billion years before the gravitational pull of Jupiter, Ceres could have been dragged into an asteroid belt.

Источник изображения: NASA

The dwarf planet Ceres formed in the outer solar system and then moved into the asteroid belt, probably under the influence of Jupiter’s strong gravity. Scientists at the State University of Sao Paulo in Brazil came to this conclusion after conducting computer simulations.

Image Source: NASA

Scientists have previously acknowledged that there is something in Ceres that does not match the position of the Solar System. The dwarf planet is about 1000 km in diameter and is currently the largest object in the asteroid belt, the region between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter, mainly composed of numerous asteroids with diameters ranging from tens of thousands to hundreds of meters.

Unlike the neighboring asteroids, many of them have strange shapes, and the circular ceres have no unusual chemical compounds, such as ammonia. Scientists have long speculated that Cyrus did not form in the asteroid belt and moved to this location during its existence. A new computer simulation confirms this.

“We suggested a scene that explains why Ceres is so different from its neighboring asteroids. In this case, Ceres began to form in an orbit beyond Saturn that contained a lot of ammonia.– Said Raphael Ribeiro de Souza, one of the authors of the current study.

Although ammonia is not commonly found on asteroids, it is often found in comets and other objects that form in very cold parts of the Solar System. The tail of a comet forms as it approaches the sun, and as the temperature rises, the ice begins to melt. Something similar is happening with Ceres, the only object in the thin atmosphere where water and ammonia ice evaporate.

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Assuming that Ceres formed at the same place where the comets originated, the question arises as to the force that moved it to the asteroid belt. Scientists believe that the strong gravitational pull of Jupiter, the gas giant that was a major force during the formation of the Solar System 4.5 billion years ago, is the key to answering this question.

Our simulations have shown that the formation of giant planets is very turbulent, including the collisions of Uranus and Neptune’s predecessors, as well as the expulsion of planets from the Solar System and the invasion of the planet’s interior. Three times the mass of the earth. In addition, strong gravitational disturbances scatter Ceres-like objects everywhere. Some of them can reach the asteroid belt and achieve permanent orbits that allow them to survive other events.Says Ribeiro de Souza.

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