Astronomers have spied a cold world three times as distant from the Sun as Pluto.
The unexcitingly-named V774104 is at least 500km across and the most faraway dwarf planet yet spotted. Operators of the Japanese Subaru telescope will now track its movements in hopes to learn more about the behavior of such distant bodies, which tend to have strange orbits.
Models for Solar System formation suggest that such objects were probably not created in these weird, eccentric orbits.
One explanation is that they have been perturbed gravitationally and pulled on to their strange trajectories by a passing planet - perhaps one that was expelled from our Solar System early in its history.
Some scientists even speculate that such objects could have been stolen from a star that formed from the same "nursery" of gas and dust as our Sun 4.6 billion years ago.
It's about 3/4 as far out as the Voyager probe, which may or may not have left the solar system, depending on your point of view.
The high resolution imaging science experiment (HiRISE) on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter captured this image in the Red Planet’s Hellas Planitia region. According to the University of Arizona researchers who operate the HiRISE camera for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, shapes like this “are the result of a complex story of dunes, lava, and wind.” But […]
Emily Lakdawalla and her colleagues at one of my favorite science nonprofits The Planetary Society prepared this fascinating map titled “Where We Are: An At-A-Glance Spacecraft Locator.” As William S. Burroughs once said, “This is the space age and we are here to go.”
NASA announced today that the International Space Station is now open to private astronauts for commercial business and, yes, tourism. It ain’t budget travel, that’s for sure. Kenneth Chang writes in the New York Times: NASA is not selling space vacations directly, but allowing commercial companies to arrange such trips. The agency plans to charge […]
With the quick-fix appeal of video games and their own cell phones, it can be tough to keep kids focused on supposedly “educational” toys. And while it may seem counter-intuitive to fight tech with more tech, we’re all in when it comes to the Toybox 3D Printer. We’re not sure if anyone had envisioned a […]
Whether you’re an artist, designer or just organizing a photo album, photo editing software is a must. And software designers know it: Platforms like Photoshop and Lightroom have a ton of helpful features, but you’ll pay for them in spades. Luckily, there’s some competition in the photo editing arena. Right now, Skylum’s Luminar software is […]
Who needs a holiday sale? Sometimes there’s no better time than the thick of summer to find deals. We should know – we’ve found ten deep discounts on some must-have items. Whether you’re searching for CBD edibles, exercise gear, chargers or other tech, take a look. But don’t look long – these prices aren’t likely […]