“This is a real victory for little projects.”
The Kuiper Belt is a collection of space rocks beyond the outer reaches of Neptune.
Astronomers predict their age to be about as old as the Solar System itself.
Kuiper Belt objects are extremely difficult to observe because of that distance, even using the most expensive telescopes in the world.
With the expensive equipment necessary for the research it is difficult for the agency to further study the space, it prompts this extraordinary that a research team at the National Astronomical Observatory in Japan — with a telescope that costs less than a fancy TV.
The team discovered the 0.8 mile (1.3 km) wide object using a telescope that, as Motherboard said, costs about $3,000.
The group augmented its power with specialized cameras and an astrograph, which is an instrument for wide field astronomical surveys — and the DIY approach paid off.
Firthermore, the team’s research was published in the prestigious journal Nature Astronomy.
The team used a technique called “occultation,” which entails observing a large number of stars at the same time and noting every time a shadow passes in front of them by measuring the dimming of the star’s light.
They monitored about 2000 stars for a duration of 60 hours and after analyzing the data, they found a light signature suggesting the existence of the new space object.