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Two red objects between Mars and Jupiter may describe how the solar system made

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  • Tip Bones

The asteroids could have come from the area around Neptune's orbit.

Two extraordinarily red objects have been discovered in the asteroid belt between Jupiter and Mars by a team of scientists, and they may have come from beyond the solar system. These objects, named 203 Pompeja and 269 Justitia, are redder than the asteroid belt's reddest known asteroids and may have migrated to the region from beyond Neptune.

If that's the case, they could shed light on the early solar system's instability as well as how the solar system as we know it now came to be. According to the report they released, the team led by JAXA's Sunao Hasegawa detected the objects using data taken at the Infrared Telescope Facility and Seoul National University Astronomical Observatory. Because they are devoid of or have very little organic elements, most objects in the inner solar system tend to reflect blue light, according to The New York Times.

The Kuiper belt, for example, is redder than the rest of the solar system's objects. That's because they're rich in organics like carbon and methane, which could have served as the foundation for our planet. The Kuiper belt, as you may know, is an area extending from Neptune's orbit where traces of our solar system's origin can be found.

If Pompeja and Justitia were actually transplanted from beyond Nepture, they'd support the theory that the Kuiper belt provided a portion of the asteroids between Jupiter and Mars. They'd also back the Nice Model, a series of speculations about how our gas giants got into their orbits.

According to the Nice model, our huge planets formed closer to the Sun until an instability caused Neptune, Uranus, and Saturn to move outwards and Jupiter to move inwards, causing Neptune, Uranus, and Saturn to move outwards and Jupiter to move inwards.

Asteroids rich in organic compounds would have scattered and moved about the solar system as a result of the event. Of course, more observations and evidence are required to confirm that the two objects are Kuiper belt objects.

The good news is that, because the asteroid belt is far closer to us than Neptune, if Earth's space agencies chose to send a probe to explore them more closely, it would take a spacecraft less time to reach them.