The Solar System
The solar system contains many different kinds of celestial objects: the planets and their satellites, asteroids, comets, and small bodies located beyond Neptune. While spacecrafts continue to explore the solar system, there are still many objects yet to be identified in order to answer a number of questions. Thanks to its wide field-of-view capability and light gathering power, the Subaru Telescope unveiled the distribution of small bodies in the solar system. Subaru’s various instruments have helped astronomers to study compositions of solar system’s objects, leading to the further understanding of the history of the solar system. The Subaru Telescope plays an active role in opening a “time-capsule” from the early solar system.
Comment from researchers
The Subaru Telescope continues to discover small celestial objects that have hitherto never been observed in our solar system. Subaru has imaged objects at the far reaches of the solar system, small asteroids that exist between Mars and Jupiter, and documented the breakup of a comet into multiple smaller bodies. Some of these objects could be considered as the fossils of our solar system; remnants of its proto-state. Therefore, ongoing observations of these objects should lead to a deeper understanding of the history of our solar system.
Dr. Jun-ichi Watanabe