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News Release Archive:

News Release 183 of 950

September 13, 2010 09:00 AM (EDT)

News Release Number: STScI-2010-32

Hubble Harvests Distant Solar System Objects

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Image: Trans-Neptunian Object

Trans-Neptunian ObjectSTScI-PRC2010-32a Artist's Concept

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ABOUT THIS IMAGE:

This is an artist's concept of a craggy piece of solar system debris that belongs to a class of bodies called trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs). Most TNOs are small and faint, making them difficult to spot. Generally, they are more than 100 million times fainter than objects visible to the unaided eye. The newfound TNOs range from 25 to 60 miles (40-100 km) across. In this illustration, the distant Sun is reduced to a bright star at a distance of over 3 billion miles. Astronomers culling the data archives of NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have added 14 new TNOs to the catalog. Their search method promises to turn up hundreds more.

Image Type: Illustration

Artwork Credit: NASA, ESA, and G. Bacon (STScI)

Science Credit: NASA, ESA, and C. Fuentes (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics)