Hubble Tracks Kuiper Belt Object

A Kuiper Belt object (KBO) visible in multiple exposures taken with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope.

Hubble tracked the KBO moving against the crowded background field of stars in the constellation Sagittarius. The object is no bigger than 43 miles across, and it is a deep-freeze relic of what the outer Solar System was like 4.6 billion years ago, during the period when the Sun formed.

As the KBO orbits the Sun, its position noticeably shifts between exposures taken approximately 10 minutes apart.

A Hubble survey has uncovered three KBOs, ranging from 43 to 56 kilometres across, that are potentially reachable by NASA's New Horizons spacecraft after it passes by Pluto in mid-2015.

Links:

Credit:

NASA, ESA SwRI, JHU/APL, and the New Horizons KBO Search Team

About the Image

NASA press release
NASA caption
Id:opo1447b
Type:Planetary
Release date:16 October 2014, 09:39
Size:587 x 587 px

About the Object

Name:Kuiper Belt Object
Type:Solar System : Interplanetary Body
Category:Solar System

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584 nm Hubble Space Telescope
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