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News Picks : Second planetoid discovered beyond Kuiper belt

By: Physics Today
Thu Mar 27 11:00:00 UTC 2014
New York Times: The sighting of a second planetoid in the far reaches of the solar system could confirm the discovery of an entirely new class of objects in a region of space once thought to be empty. A decade ago Michael Brown of Caltech spotted the most distant object ever seen orbiting the Sun, a 1000-km-diameter planetoid called Sedna, which travels beyond the Kuiper belt. Now a second “Sednoid” has been found. Dubbed 2012 VP113, it was detected in November 2012 by astronomers using the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile. In their paper published in Nature, they propose that 2012 VP113 confirms not only that Sedna is not an isolated object but that the two planetoids may be part of a much larger group of like objects inhabiting the inner Oort cloud.

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