A team of Hungarian scientists discovered two clouds of dust that orbit the Earth and have now proposed the existence of a dust moon. This is not the first time this term is mentioned. Scientists have been debating and theorizing about the existence of dust moons for about 60 years, but finally, the theory seems to start making sense.
The team of scientists published their findings in the Monthly notices from the Royal Astronomical Society (MNRAS). They discovered two clouds of dust about 250,000 miles from Earth. That puts them approximately the same distance as the distance to the real moon from Earth, the only natural satellite on the planet.
Scientists believe that the two dust clouds are located in areas where gravitational stability prevails, known as Lagrange points L4 and L5, caused by the gravity of the Earth and that of the Moon. The dots move around the Earth as the moon orbits, creating a triangle. The clouds of dust "move in front of and behind the moon in orbit," explained EarthSky.
Initially, the Polish astronomer Kazimierz Kordylewski discovered evidence of dust on the L5 in 1961. However, because they were weak, the clouds offered no firm evidence to Kordylewski.
To test their findings, the team of scientists who wrote the recent article used a private observatory belonging to the co-author of the Judit Sliz-Balogh study in Badacsonytördemic, Hungary. They took long exposures of L5, showing that light reflected dust.
His observations coincided with a prediction made by researchers in an older article and with Kordylewski's observations. Focusing on an explanation for the two dust clouds, the team also eliminated the Earth-based interference from the list of possible motifs.
"The Kordylewski clouds are two of the most difficult objects to find, and although they are as close to Earth as the Moon, they are overlooked by astronomy researchers," Slíz-Balogh said in a statement. "It's interesting to confirm that our planet has pseudo dusty satellites in orbit with our lunar neighbor."
However, not everything has been proven. The scientists noted that the two clouds of dust could pass, which would mean that it is unclear why they got stuck in positions L4 or L5, since other attempts to discover dust moons have not been as successful.
"The KDC [Kordylewski dust clouds] it can be a transient [short-lived] Phenomenon ", the team wrote in his work."[T]The probability that dust particles are trapped is random due to the occasional entry of particles and their incidental velocity vectors. Therefore, the structure and particle density of the KDC is not constant. "
However, this does not mean that the discovery is less interesting. If a test comes up, that means there is much more to our planet than is currently known. The team also suggests that future missions could be done to sample the dust found in those regions. In addition, scientists could learn from dust to build spacecraft that do not collide with the dust that floats around our planet.
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