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Small World Discovered Far Beyond Pluto 63

Posted by Soulskill
from the NSA-surveillance-probe-already-dispatched dept.
astroengine writes: "After a decade of searching, astronomers have found a second dwarf-like planet far beyond Pluto and its Kuiper Belt cousins, a presumed no-man's land that may turn out to be anything but. How Sedna, which was discovered in 2003, and its newly found neighbor, designated 2012 VP 2113 by the Minor Planet Center, came to settle in orbits so far from the sun is a mystery. Sedna comes no closer than about 76 times as far from the sun as Earth, or 76 astronomical units. The most distant leg of its 11,400-year orbit is about 1,000 astronomical units. Newly found VP 2113's closest approach to the sun is about 80 astronomical units and its greatest distance is 452 astronomical units (abstract). The small world is roughly 280 miles (450 kilometers) wide, less than half the estimated diameter of Sedna."
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Small World Discovered Far Beyond Pluto

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  • Dwarf-like? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by aardvarkjoe (156801) on Wednesday March 26, 2014 @06:58PM (#46588627)

    Dwarf-like? Is this planet like Dopey, or more like Thorin Oakenshield?

    Didn't we just go through this whole rigmarole of redefining Pluto as a "dwarf planet" so we could use that as a real term for bodies like this?

  • Re:Dwarf-like? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Frobnicator (565869) on Wednesday March 26, 2014 @07:54PM (#46589007) Journal

    Not really news.

    When Eris, MakeMake and Sedna were accepted in the IAU's list they already had about 50 more 'probable dwarf planets' inside the Kuiper belt. The following year the list of 'probable dwarf planets' grew to nearly 400.

    The estimated number is about 10,000 dwarf planets in our solar system. Hopefully we won't have big news announcements for each one. But hey, slow news days need something...

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