Hubble Telescope Photographs Seven Binary Objects Beyond Pluto

This NASA composite picture shows the apparent orbit in blue of one member of a pair of Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs) known as WW31. The six fainter points of light are Hubble photographs of WW31 as it moved relative to another object which is the larger, brighter light. The two objects revolve around a common center of gravity, like a pair of waltzing skaters. Astronomers assembled this picture from six separate Hubble Telescope exposures taken from July to September 2001, December 2001 and January to February 2002. The location is in the Kuiper Belt of icy objects that were left over from the solar system's birth and which orbit beyond Pluto. Graphic courtesy NASA and C. Veillet, Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope.
This NASA composite picture shows the apparent orbit in blue of one member of a pair of Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs) known as WW31. The six fainter points of light are Hubble photographs of WW31 as it moved relative to another object which is the larger, brighter light. The two objects revolve around a common center of gravity, like a pair of waltzing skaters. Astronomers assembled this picture from six separate Hubble Telescope exposures taken from July to September 2001, December 2001 and January to February 2002. The location is in the Kuiper Belt of icy objects that were left over from the solar system's birth and which orbit beyond Pluto. Graphic courtesy NASA and C. Veillet, Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope.

July 11, 2002  Baltimore, Maryland ­ One of the most recent discoveries in our solar system, NASA reports, is an "intriguing new class of objects, dim and fleeting, which travel in pairs in the frigid, mysterious outer realm of the solar system called the Kuiper Belt." These Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs), inhabit a region that begins around Neptune and extends out more than nine billion miles. At least half of the short-period comets that come through the solar system, around the sun and back out again are from the Kuiper Belt, named after astronomer Gerard P. Kuiper who headed the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory at the University of Arizona until his death in 1973.

 

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