March 29, 2023

UFRJ’s scientific discovery that shakes 19th century theory has national and international media implications

The study led by Professor Bruno Morgado, from the Valongo Observatory (OV/UFRJ), and published in Nature detected an unprecedented phenomenon that shakes a 19th-century theory, gaining great coverage in the Brazilian and foreign press. For the researcher, it is time to “show the cutting-edge science we are doing in Brazil and at UFRJ.” See the report on the discovery at UFRJ connectionwho brought the find firsthand.

Bruno Morgado is a professor at UFRJ | Photo: Personal file

In Brazil, the discovery made headlines in at least 28 vehicles, such as Folha de S. Paulo, Estadão, the globeOh, Look, Time, CNN Brazil, Examination, Zone is Brazil agency. In the foreign media, at least 26 newspapers gave voice to the conclusion, such as The New York Times, Reuters, The Wall Street Journal, The guardian, Le Monde, National Geographic, forbes, daily mail is CNN.

“Quaoar was being observed by experts from the Valongo Observatory in search of clues about the origin of the Solar System. To everyone’s surprise, they found that the tiny star has a ring – which, in itself, is already considered rare,” said Estadão.

ONE Folha de S. Paulo saved the motivation of starting the studies. “Quaoar is one of the known large objects that reside in the so-called Kuiper belt, where Pluto, the largest of them, is also located. With an estimated diameter of 1,110 km, it is half the size of its famous “cousin”. It is also likely a dwarf planet, but the International Astronomical Union [a “Fifa” da astronomia] he does not classify it as such, because one of the conditions for receiving the name is to have reached hydrostatic equilibrium [traduzindo do cientifiquês, ser aproximadamente esférico]. The work of the scientists began with exactly this goal: to try to determine the shape of Quaoar,” the newspaper from Sao Paulo emphasized.

“The main point of the discovery is that the existence of the ring puts to the test what astronomy has until now understood as the Roche limit, a concept developed in the 19th century that determines how far an object can be from the main star . in which it is. roams without being torn,” the paper explained The globe.

THE The New York Times interviewed Professor Bruno Morgado. The vehicle highlighted the originality of the discovery. “A small icy world far beyond Neptune has a Saturn-like ring. Surprisingly, the ring is at a distance where simple gravitational calculations suggest it shouldn’t exist. “One possible explanation for Quaoar’s distant ring is the presence of Weywot. The moon may have created gravitational perturbations that prevented ring particles from accreting to another moon. In the extremely cold temperatures in the outer solar system, the ice particles are also more explosive and less likely to stick together when they collide.” The New York Times.

already it The guardian he remembered when it was possible to make the discovery. “The detection was made during a so-called occultation event, when a planet passes directly in front of a star, meaning its sharp silhouette can be briefly seen by Earth-based telescopes,” the British newspaper reported.

ONE forbes added that “astronomers discovered the rings using a camera called HiPERCAM mounted on a telescope in La Palma, Canary Islands, Spain, observing light from a distant star blocked by Quaoar in its orbit around the sun.” The American publication also provides context, noting that “the discovery comes less than a month after astronomers observed another ring system around an ice giant asteroid more than three billion kilometers from Earth using NASA’s James Webb Telescope, bringing asteroid rings the size of the Grand Canyon. clearer view more than 25 years after the discovery of the asteroid.”

Discovery coordinated by UFRJ, but in many hands

In addition to UFRJ, the article was published in Nature signed by scientists from other institutions such as the Federal Technological University of Paraná (UTFPR), the National Observatory, the State University of São Paulo (Unesp), the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT (United States), the University of Sorbonne (France ), the Institute of Astrophysics of Andalusia (Spain), University of Bern (Switzerland), University of St Andrews (Scotland), University of Stockholm (Sweden), University of Oulu (Finland), University of Sheffield (England), University of Cadi Ayyad (Morocco) , Reedy Creek Observatory (Australia) and University of Lieja (Belgium).

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