Friday, July 29, 2005
Bigger than Pluto?
A new transneptunian object (TNO) has been discovered. Big TNO's have been found before, like Sedna (named after an Innuit Goddess). But this one looks as if it is as big as Pluto, if not bigger! Of course, this depends on its reflectivity. If it has the same reflectivity as the other TNO's then it is about twice Pluto's size. It has already been picked up by amateurs (with a 30 cm telescope though).
It's orbit appears to be inclined 28 degrees to the Solar plane, even more eccentric than Pluto, at 17 degrees. It is also 51 AU away (Pluto is on average 39 AU from the Sun).