Fastest Rotating Object in Our Solar System is One of Strangest

“We didn’t expect to find anything so strangely shaped
and so rapidly rotating. It’s the fastest, large rotating object
in the solar system."

- Michael E. Brown, Ph.D., Cal Tech


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March 30, 2007  Pasadena, California - For the first time in astronomical history, a huge, bizarre rock beyond Neptune has been linked to other orbiting bodies out there. Some how the big rock called 2003 EL61, which is almost the size of Pluto, got into orbit out in the Kuiper Belt where most every other object is made of ice. Not only is this huge rocky object there, it is the only object in our solar system shaped like an American football and tumbling long end-over-end every four hours.

Computer-generated image of 2003 EL61, courtesy Michael E. Brown, Ph.D., Cal Tech. To see it move, visit: http://www.gps.caltech.edu/~mbrown/
Computer-generated image of 2003 EL61, courtesy Michael E. Brown, Ph.D., Cal Tech. To see it move, visit: http://www.gps.caltech.edu/~mbrown/

 

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