Skywatch

  • October 7, 2010

    Episode 299: New Solar System Objects

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    The material left in the outer part of the solar system can contain clues to the formation and early stages of the Sun and its planets. A plethora of rocky objects, comets and possibly dwarf planets reside in our solar system well beyond the orbit of Neptune. Most are small, dark objects that are very hard to find because they reflect so little light. Using the Hubble archive, a team searched some of the images and found new distant solar system objects. They range in size and suggest a fair number of collisions have occurred throughout the 4.5 billion year lifetime of the Sun.