Feeds

Boffins spot planetoid at 8bn miles

Distant 'Sedna' welcomed to solar system

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Application security programs and practises

NASA-funded astronomers at the California Institute of Technology have discovered the furthest-known body in the solar system - a distant eight billion miles out.

It orbits the sun on a highly elliptical path which, even at its perihelion, puts the planetoid more than twice the average distance from the Sun to Pluto.

The body is somewhere between 800 and 1,100 miles across, making it the largest object discovered in the solar system since Pluto was first identified in 1930. The Associated Press reports that the rocky body has been named Sedna "after the Inuit Goddess who created the sea creatures".

Its orbit takes 10,500 years to complete, and takes it as far as 84 billion miles away from the sun. The research team says it is unlikely that the temparature on Sedna ever rises above 33 degrees Kelvin, or -240 degrees Celcius.

Sedna was first sighted in November 2003. Mike Brown (CalTech) and Chad Trujillo, of the Gemini Observatory in Hawaii, and David Rabinowitz, of Yale University, spotted the worldlette through the 48-inch telescope at Caltech's Palomar Observatory.

NASA has scheduled a press briefing today where it will release more information about the discovery. To add to the excitement, AP reports that the team suspects a tiny moon may orbit the planet. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
Asteroid's DINO KILLING SPREE just bad luck – boffins
Sauricide WASN'T inevitable, reckon scientists
BEST BATTERY EVER: All lithium, all the time, plus a dash of carbon nano-stuff
We have found the Holy Grail (of batteries) - boffins
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
Famous 'Dish' radio telescope to be emptied in budget crisis: CSIRO
Radio astronomy suffering to protect Square Kilometre Array
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.