For more than half a century, scientists have been discussing the existence of two enigmatic celestial objects known as Kordylewski dust clouds. The clouds were first observed in 1961 by the Polish astronomer Kazimierz Kordylewski. It is believed that they orbit our planet around the Lagrange points L4 and L5 – two of the five gravitationally stable locations in the Earth's moon system. Although the sightings of the Kordylewski dust clouds were occasionally reported, their presence in the orbit of our planet has remained contentious.
This is because the dust clouds are "exceptionally weak" Science Daily which makes their discovery extremely difficult.
Nevertheless, it seems that the elusive clouds were discovered by a team of Hungarian astronomers and physicists who eventually confirmed their existence, reports the media outlet, citing the Royal Astronomical Society.
According to the team, the Kordylewski dust clouds were observed around 400,000 kilometers from Earth (or nearly 250,000 miles), around the L5 Lagrange Point.
"The Kordylewski clouds are two of the most difficult objects, and although they are as close to Earth as the Moon, [they] they are largely overlooked by astronomers, and it is fascinating to confirm that our planet is near our planet Moon Neighbor also has pseudo-satellites in orbit, "said Judit Sliz-Balogh, one of the researchers who made the discovery.
Our tiny fugitive neighbors in orbit: two dusty Kordylewski clouds identified ̵1; on Earth L5 pointhttps: //t.co/pBvWs7t6Gs
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How do you plan to find something that is virtually untraceable? In this particular case, scientists began developing a computer model of the Kordylewski dust clouds to understand how they are formed and how best to detect them.
The results of their simulation were published earlier this year in the Journal Monthly Reports of the Royal Astronomical Society highlighting that the mysterious dust clouds are filtered by polarizing filters – optical filters that allow light to pass through a particular vibration direction – could be discovered. These filters only allow light waves of a certain polarization while blocking everything else.
The next step was to use the technique to observe the sky and actively search for the Kordylewski dust clouds around L4 and L5. Unlike the other three long-range points that form a line that passes through the Earth and its natural satellites, L4 and L5 form an equilateral triangle with our planet and the Moon, and constantly move around the Earth as the Moon moves moved along its orbit. This makes them less gravitationally stable, which has led scientists to doubt that dust can accumulate at these sites.
"Many astronomers assume that these dust clouds do not exist because gravitational disturbances of the sun, the solar wind and other planets can interfere with the stabilizing effect of the Lagrange points L4 and L5 of Earth and Moon," the scientists emphasize in a second paper which was also published in the monthly reports of the Royal Astronomical Society .
Kordylewski clouds! https://t.co/sLm1CMjYtg
– Roger Highfield (@RogerHighfield) October 27, 2018
The team became the team using a highly sensitive photon detector and a linear polarizing filter system attached to a camera lens Imaged the areas and picked up a kind of polarized light that could only be reflected by dust that had accumulated near the Lagrange point L5.
The pattern of evidence was consistent with both the predictions of the previous study and the observations of Kordylewski decades ago
"Apart from artifacts caused by the telescope, cirrus clouds or aircraft contrails, the only explanation remains polarized Scattering of sunlight on the particles collected around the L5 point, "concludes the team.