Scientists have spotted an asteroid floating in the outer regions of the solar system beyond Neptune. This is the first of its kind. It is known as the 2004 EW95 asteroid. The ESO (European Southern Observatory) released a statement that it was first formed between the asteroid belts of Jupiter and mars but later pulled towards the Kuiper belt beyond Neptune. According to scientists, it is a carbon-rich asteroid.
Astronomer Dr Wesley Fraser of Queen’s University found something unusual about the distant asteroids while performing his observations.
According to Dr. Tom Secull, 2004 EW95’s reflectance spectrum marked it out from the neighbouring bodies. Using the ESO’s telescope scientists were able to find out that the asteroid was made from carbon suggesting that the asteroid was originally from the inner solar system. So the scientists believe that it can unfold many mysteries and can tell them about the formation of sun and planets. Dr Secull added that the asteroid had been forced into its present unit by a migratory planet given its present position in the outer reaches of the solar system. Also, the present of phyllosilicates and ferric oxides in the asteroid was a hint for its origin point as any asteroid has never shown such composition. Given the case, scientists are expecting more asteroids to find in Kuiper belt in the coming years.
Secull and his team observed the asteroid with FORS2 and X-Shooter instruments on the VLT to obtain more information on the pattern of reflectance spectrum and know its composition. Even though the 2004 EW95 was 300 km across but it was four billion kilometres away from earth which made it difficult to gather data as it looked like a giant block of coal against the pitch dark sky. Despite this, the team was able to gather data with the help of advanced instruments.