Share

News Release Archive:

News Release 80 of 180

April 17, 2002 02:00 PM (EDT)

News Release Number: STScI-2002-04

Hubble Hunts Down Binary Objects at the Fringe of Our Solar System

Back

Image: Hubble Hunts Down Binary Objects at the Fringe of Our Solar System

Hubble Hunts Down Binary Objects at the Fringe of Our Solar SystemSTScI-PRC2002-04a

Screen-use options: These files are created for viewing on your monitor

Print-use download options: These files are designed to fit on letter-size paper

Highest-quality download options: The best resolution available


ABOUT THIS IMAGE:

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope snapped pictures of a double system of icy bodies in the Kuiper Belt. This composite picture shows the apparent orbit of one member of the pair. In reality, the objects, called 1998 WW31, revolve around a common center of gravity, like a pair of waltzing skaters. This picture shows the motion of one member of the duo [the six faint blobs] relative to the other [the large white blob]. The blue oval represents the orbital path. Astronomers assembled this picture from six separate exposures, taken from July to September 2001, December 2001, and January to February 2002.

Astronomers used the Hubble telescope to study the orbit of this binary system. They then used that information to determine other characteristics of the duo, such as their total mass, and their orbital period (the time it takes them to orbit each other).

Object Name: 1998 WW31

Image Type: Astronomical/Illustration

Credit: NASA and C. Veillet (Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope)

NEWS RELEASE IMAGES

All images from this news release:

To access available information and downloadable versions of images in this news release, click on any of the images below: