August 19, 2020

A “Snowman” at the Edge of the Solar System

New Horizons photograph (courtesy of NASA) of Arrokoth

A model developed at the Faculty of Physics at the Technion, in collaboration with German scientists at Tübingen, explains the unique properties of Arrokoth – the most distant object ever imaged in the solar system. The research team’s results shed new light on the formation of Kuiper Belt objects, asteroid-like objects at the edge of the Solar system, and for understanding the early stages of the solar system’s formation.

The researchers’ findings, published in the Nature, explain the unique characteristics of “the Snowman,” known formally as Arrokoth, It is the farthest imaged object in the system, and pictures of it were first taken last year by the New-Horizons space mission.

The research was led by Ph.D. student Evgeni Grishin, postdoc Dr. Uri Malamud, and their supervisor Professor Hagai Perets, in collaboration with the German research group in Tübingen.