Feeds

Boffins spot planetoid at 8bn miles

Distant 'Sedna' welcomed to solar system

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Intelligent flash storage arrays

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. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
SECRET U.S. 'SPACE WARPLANE' set to return from SPY MISSION
Robot minishuttle X-37B returns after almost 2 years in orbit
LOHAN crash lands on CNN
Overflies Die Welt en route to lively US news vid
'Utter killjoy Reg hacks have NEVER BEEN LAID', writes a fan
'Shuddit, smarty pants!' Some readers reacted badly to our last Doctor Who review ...
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
White LED lies: It's great, but Nobel physics prize-winning great?
How artificial lighting could offer an artificial promise
Origins of SEXUAL INTERCOURSE fished out of SCOTTISH LAKE
Fossil find proves it first happened 385 million years ago
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.