Kuiper Belt Object 1110113Y

Kuiper Belt Object 1110113Y

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Fast Facts
News release ID: STScI-2014-47
Release Date: Oct 15, 2014
Image Use: Copyright
About this image

A Kuiper Belt object (KBO) that is potentially reachable by NASA's Pluto-bound New Horizons probe is visible in multiple exposures taken with the Hubble Space Telescope. Hubble tracked the KBO (named 1110113Y or "PT1") moving against the crowded background field of stars in the constellation Sagittarius. The object is no bigger than 19 to 28 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. Following an initial proof of concept of the Hubble pilot observing program in June, the New Horizons team was awarded telescope time by the Space Telescope Science Institute for a wider survey in July. When the search was completed in early September, the team identified this KBO as "definitely reachable" by the New Horizons spacecraft.


Tags
Astronomical, Hubble Telescope, Kuiper Belt Objects, Solar System

Credits

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