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Hubble images show the month of Neptune, which may have been repeatedly reborn



  A picture of a small, rocky body with Neptune in the background
Zoom / Concept of the artist about the tiny Moon Hippocampus. they made huge records of the discovery. Among the new discoveries and phenomena was a large collection of small satellites that revolve around Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. Most of them were not able to have hardware based on the Earth at that time – we had to be there to see them.

Since then, however, improvements in terrestrial optics and the existence of the Hubble Space Telescope have allowed us to find several small bodies that were missed by the Voyages, as well as other small objects in other parts of the solar system, The Kooper Belt, who recently visited New Horizons. Now, the researchers have found a way to use the achievements in the calculation to increase what we can do with the images further, revealing a tiny young man on Neptune, and possibly revealing another for the first time since Voyager 2 was there.

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9659006] Given that Neptune has been visited by Voyager 2 and has since been frequently viewed since then, any months we have not noticed will be quite complicated, probably because they are some combination of small and / or dim. The easiest way to see them is to increase the exposure time, which allows more options for smoke signals to go out of the noise. This method will not work if a bright object is nearby that is not a problem with external planets.

The problem is that previously opened satellites that rotate close to the satellites are noticeably moving within the time interval of one exposure. At some point, this movement creates a "smear" that keeps the signal firmly embedded in the noise.

A small group of researchers from SETI, NASA and Berkeley understood the way of compensating for this smear. If you know the body's orbit, you can predict how much it moves from one image to another. You can then configure multiple sequential images to place objects in the same orbit at the same location, which allows you to highlight any signals. Transformation can be complicated, since the orbit may be skewed at an odd angle from the image forming device. But that's good in our current computing abilities.

The problem is that if we do not know that the Moon exists, then we obviously do not know its orbit. But the team, in this new study, devised functions that work for any forward moving moon, circular orbit around the planet's equator.

"You can use these functions to convert an image taken at t ] 0 to match the appearance of another image obtained at time t 1 by moving each pixel in the original image to the new location, "the team members wrote." After the conversion, any month on a lost, circular, equatorial orbit will appear at fixed pixel coordinates. "taken from the entire Hubble orbit.

Opening and reopening

When the analysis was made, a tiny burst broke out The now named Hippocamp, after a mythical sea monster, is only about 35km across and orbits at the outer edge of this cluster of months.A similar analysis has lifted the Moon Naiad, which was noticed by Voyager 2. But Na'yad was not where we expected it to be will be; in fact, it was turned off by 180. But the orbit that places it in the right place is possible with a slight correction to the orbit, as foreseen by the Voyager. Unfortunately, this means that some statements that they have discovered using land-based tools in recent years are almost certainly mistaken. where it was during the Voyager 2 span. Most of the images skipped this area of ​​space, and some images that not all showed a significant smear. Therefore, there was no real way to identify this Moon before the latest image campaigns.

 Concept of the artist about the tiny month of Hippocampus. "Src =" https://cdn.arstechnica.net/wp -content / uploads / 2019/02 / STScI-H-p1904a-m-2000x1143-640x366.jpg width = "640" height = "366" srcset = "https://cdn.arstechnica.net/wp-content/ uploads / 2019/02 / STScI-H-p1904a-m-2000x1143-1280x732.jpg 2x
Zoom / The concept of the artist about tiny Moon Hippocampus.
  Internal satellites of Neptune and their radii, along with the enthusiastic Kooper "Triton" belt. "src =" https://cdn.arstechnica.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/STSCI-H-p1904b-m-2000x1600-640x512.png "width =" 640 "height =" 512 "srcset = "https://cdn.arstechnica.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/STSCI-H-p1904b-m-2000x1600-1280x1024.png 2x
Zoom Internal Neptune satellites and their radii together with captured by Triton's Kuiper Belt Object.

It is just inside the Proteus, the largest of the inner satellites of Neptune. The tidal forces make Proteus slowly move away from Neptune, but the Hippocamp is so small that these forces will have minimal impact on it. And this means that the two bodies were once much closer. Proteus has a large crater, Pharos, where the impact is destroyed by 50 times the volume of Hippocamp, suggesting that there was more than enough rubbish around to form a tiny moon.

One of the problems with this idea is that the proximity of Proteus was supposed to throw Hippocampus into an eccentric orbit. But researchers assume that this is not a problem as it seems. Based on the particles and size of Craters on Proteus, they estimate that collisions that are large enough to wipe the Hippocamp completely would have occurred at least nineteen times after its formation. The process of destruction and re-formation should allow the Moon to occupy progressively more regular orbits.

This model, however, suggests that it and possibly other small satellites near Neptune have suffered multiple destruction during their history, rather than simply introduced during the formation of Neptune. And much of the material has not been taken into account, which suggests that there may be some rare rings in the region that will be difficult to detect without a regular visit to the blue planet.

Nature 2019. s41586-019-0909-9 (About DOI).


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