Asteroid ring

The Asteroid ring of the solar system would have been much easier to study if we had known the past history of asteroids, their origin. However, in this direction, research work is still far from complete.

The Asteroid ring of the solar system would have been much easier to study if we had known the past history of asteroids, their origin

In the last century, one of the discoverers of asteroids, Olbers, hypothesized the origin of the asteroid ring, which for a long time was considered plausible.

According to the hypothesis of Olbers, there was once around the Sun at an average distance of 2,8 a.u., only one hypothetical planet was applied, later dispersed to pieces as a result of some catastrophe. Perhaps it collapsed in close proximity to Jupiter. The fragments of this disintegrating small planet are modern asteroids. A hypothetical planet, some astronomers are called Phaethon, and others are Asteroid. Although Olbers' hypothesis turned out to be erroneous, it still played a positive role, as it stimulated the search for new small planets.

According to another hypothesis, the asteroid ring is the remains of that primitive matter from which the planetary system was formed. Here, during the formation of the solar system, an independent planet was formed, but it was somewhat "late" to be born, since the almost formed Jupiter, with its powerful gravity, prevented the process of combining initial condensations moving in the zone of asteroids.

With the growing number of open asteroids, more and more scientists began to wonder about the need for a thorough check of the hypothesis of Olbers. A great study was undertaken by the Japanese scientist Hirayama. Statistical studies have shown the heterogeneity of the asteroid ring and the disintegration of it into several families with different properties that are difficult to explain from the standpoint of Olbers' hypothesis.

The statistical study of asteroids was continued by G.F. Sultanov. Sultanov undertook a comprehensive study of the family of asteroids. First, the question was posed and resolved, what the nature of the "explosion" or "instantaneous destruction" of the planet, which would make it possible to explain the modern structure of the asteroid ring, should be resolved. Sultanov looked at a number of variants of velocity distribution in the fragments of the hypothetical planet Phaethon at the time of the "explosion," but none of them led to the observed distribution of the asteroid orbits. Hence the conclusion: a hypothetical planet Phaethon could not exist.

But G.F. Sultanov did not stop there. A new thorough analysis is being carried out, but already on the basis of another assumption that once on the site of the asteroids not one planet moved, but several primary large bodies. Proceeding from the limited three-body problem "Sun-Jupiter - the primary body", it was possible to find out which of the elements of the orbits remain almost unchanged, stable in the process of evolution. Then, statistical calculations were made of the distribution of asteroids for these elements. As it turned out, asteroids are divided into 12 groups-families of asteroids, in which the values of stable elements are close to each other. This indicated the common origin of the asteroids of each group. In fact, since the identified stable elements of the orbits of the asteroids almost do not change due to the attraction of Jupiter, the elements had approximately the same value as now, and in those distant times when the asteroid ring was just beginning. Apparently, each family of asteroids originated from one primary body.

The question of the origin of the primary bodies remained unresolved: were they in the process of condensation of a primeval cloud that once surrounded the Sun, or were these primary bodies "splinters" of a large Phaethon planet?