News Release Archive:

News Release 580 of 1051

September 6, 2003 03:00 PM (EDT)

News Release Number: STScI-2003-25

Farthest, Faintest Solar System Objects Found Beyond Neptune


Video: Successive Frames Showing KBO 2000 FV53 Moving Across the Field

Running Time: 10 seconds

This series of images from the Advanced Camera for Surveys shows a Kuiper Belt object (2000 FV53) moving across the sky on 26 January 2003. Like all planets, this Solar-System member appears to move relative to the fixed stars and galaxies in the background. This particular object was discovered from Hawaii in March 2000, and used to help target the Hubble observations. The new Kuiper Belt members discovered by Hubble are up to 100 times fainter than this one, and are so faint that they cannot be seen by eye in movies like this—-they are found using computer analysis. This movie less than 0.01 degree of the sky, about 0.04% of the area of the full moon. The Kuiper Belt hunt with Hubble searched an area 250 times larger than shown here, discovering three new Solar System "fossils" as small as 25 km (15 miles) across.

Video Credit: NASA and G. Bernstein (University of Pennsylvania)

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