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By Frank D. Roylance and Baltimore Sun reporter | December 17, 2009
A California scientist using the Hubble Space Telescope has discovered the smallest object ever seen in the Kuiper Belt - the vast region of icy objects beyond the orbit of Neptune. The unnamed object is estimated to be 3,200 feet in diameter - just over a half-mile. Hubble detected it from 4.2 billion miles. The next-smallest known Kuiper Belt object is 30 miles in diameter. CalTech astronomer Hilke Schlichting and her team found the tiny object by scouring 4 1/2 years of data from Hubble's Fine Guidance Sensor.
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NEWS
By Frank D. Roylance | December 17, 2009
A California scientist using the Hubble Space Telescope has discovered the smallest object ever seen in the Kuiper Belt - the vast region of icy objects beyond the orbit of Neptune. The unnamed object is estimated to be 3,200 feet in diameter - just over a half-mile. Hubble detected it from 4.2 billion miles. The next-smallest known Kuiper Belt object is 30 miles in diameter. CalTech astronomer Hilke Schlichting and her team found the tiny object by scouring 4 1/2 years of data from Hubble's Fine Guidance Sensor.
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NEWS
By Frank D. Roylance and Frank D. Roylance,Sun Staff Writer | June 15, 1995
PITTSBURGH -- Pushing the Hubble Space Telescope to its limits, astronomers have detected what they say are more than two dozen Halley-sized comets in a great comet reservoir beyond the orbit of Neptune.If they're right, it provides important evidence for the existence of the Kuiper Belt, a vast region beyond Neptune long suspected as the source of many familiar comets that periodically swing by the inner planets and around the sun.It also represents a remarkable performance by Hubble. The comets are incredibly small and dim to be seen from such a distance.
NEWS
By Frank D. Roylance and Baltimore Sun reporter | December 17, 2009
A California scientist using the Hubble Space Telescope has discovered the smallest object ever seen in the Kuiper Belt - the vast region of icy objects beyond the orbit of Neptune. The unnamed object is estimated to be 3,200 feet in diameter - just over a half-mile. Hubble detected it from 4.2 billion miles. The next-smallest known Kuiper Belt object is 30 miles in diameter. CalTech astronomer Hilke Schlichting and her team found the tiny object by scouring 4 1/2 years of data from Hubble's Fine Guidance Sensor.
NEWS
By Frank D. Roylance | December 17, 2009
A California scientist using the Hubble Space Telescope has discovered the smallest object ever seen in the Kuiper Belt - the vast region of icy objects beyond the orbit of Neptune. The unnamed object is estimated to be 3,200 feet in diameter - just over a half-mile. Hubble detected it from 4.2 billion miles. The next-smallest known Kuiper Belt object is 30 miles in diameter. CalTech astronomer Hilke Schlichting and her team found the tiny object by scouring 4 1/2 years of data from Hubble's Fine Guidance Sensor.
NEWS
By KNIGHT RIDDER/TRIBUNE | October 8, 2002
On the frozen outskirts of the solar system, astronomers have discovered an orbiting object half the size of Pluto, the biggest find since the ninth planet was discovered in 1930. They've named it Quaoar (KWAH-oh-war), after a California Indian creation deity. It's about one-tenth the size of Earth and orbits the sun every 288 years. Quaoar is not a planet - it's a "Kuiper Belt object," a member of a distant realm that's just beginning to be explored. Besides being nearly unpronounceable, this newcomer is creating an awkward situation in the solar system.
NEWS
By Tom Siegfried and Tom Siegfried,Dallas Morning News | September 17, 1992
DALLAS -- Astronomers have discovered an object on the fringe of the solar system, possibly a gigantic comet, farther from the sun than the outermost planets.It is the most distant body detected in the solar system since Pluto's discovery in 1930."If confirmed, it's fair to say that for astronomy this easily could be the discovery of the year, if not the decade," said Alan Stern, an astronomer at the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, Texas. "In my opinion it is as momentous as the discovery of the first asteroid.
NEWS
By Dennis O'Brien and By Dennis O'Brien,Sun Staff | August 5, 2005
The discovery of what might be our solar system's 10th planet could change the way astronomers label the objects they find in the skies. The key question, still unresolved: Just what is a planet? Until the discovery of 2003 UB313 -- they'll choose a catchier name soon -- astronomers had loosely defined what objects they classified as planets, based on factors such as whether they (a) orbit a star, (b) are shaped into spheres by gravity and (c) are at least as big as Pluto, the smallest and most distant planet in our solar system.
NEWS
By Frank D. Roylance and Frank D. Roylance,SUN STAFF | August 25, 2001
For 200 years the giant asteroid Ceres has held the title as the largest known "minor planet" in the solar system. Ceres is a spherical space rock orbiting in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. It is nearly 600 miles in diameter, roughly the distance from Baltimore to Chicago. Now a team of European astronomers is claiming that Ceres has been eclipsed in size by a newly discovered object, found near the orbit of Pluto. The new asteroid could be as big as 870 miles across, according to calculations by a team led by Gerhard Hahn of the German Aerospace Center in Berlin.
NEWS
By ROBYN SHELTON and ROBYN SHELTON,ORLANDO SENTINEL | January 20, 2006
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- The fastest spacecraft ever created is speeding toward the solar system's most distant planet, where it will study Pluto, its moon and the icy objects in the nearby Kuiper Belt. The $700 million New Horizons was developed and built at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory and will be controlled from the mission operations center on its Howard County campus near Laurel. A Lockheed Martin Atlas V rocket blasted off yesterday at 2 p.m. from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, launching New Horizons on the start of its 3 billion-mile journey.
NEWS
By ROBYN SHELTON and ROBYN SHELTON,ORLANDO SENTINEL | January 20, 2006
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- The fastest spacecraft ever created is speeding toward the solar system's most distant planet, where it will study Pluto, its moon and the icy objects in the nearby Kuiper Belt. The $700 million New Horizons was developed and built at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory and will be controlled from the mission operations center on its Howard County campus near Laurel. A Lockheed Martin Atlas V rocket blasted off yesterday at 2 p.m. from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, launching New Horizons on the start of its 3 billion-mile journey.
NEWS
By Dennis O'Brien and By Dennis O'Brien,Sun Staff | August 5, 2005
The discovery of what might be our solar system's 10th planet could change the way astronomers label the objects they find in the skies. The key question, still unresolved: Just what is a planet? Until the discovery of 2003 UB313 -- they'll choose a catchier name soon -- astronomers had loosely defined what objects they classified as planets, based on factors such as whether they (a) orbit a star, (b) are shaped into spheres by gravity and (c) are at least as big as Pluto, the smallest and most distant planet in our solar system.
NEWS
By KNIGHT RIDDER/TRIBUNE | October 8, 2002
On the frozen outskirts of the solar system, astronomers have discovered an orbiting object half the size of Pluto, the biggest find since the ninth planet was discovered in 1930. They've named it Quaoar (KWAH-oh-war), after a California Indian creation deity. It's about one-tenth the size of Earth and orbits the sun every 288 years. Quaoar is not a planet - it's a "Kuiper Belt object," a member of a distant realm that's just beginning to be explored. Besides being nearly unpronounceable, this newcomer is creating an awkward situation in the solar system.
NEWS
By Frank D. Roylance and Frank D. Roylance,SUN STAFF | August 25, 2001
For 200 years the giant asteroid Ceres has held the title as the largest known "minor planet" in the solar system. Ceres is a spherical space rock orbiting in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. It is nearly 600 miles in diameter, roughly the distance from Baltimore to Chicago. Now a team of European astronomers is claiming that Ceres has been eclipsed in size by a newly discovered object, found near the orbit of Pluto. The new asteroid could be as big as 870 miles across, according to calculations by a team led by Gerhard Hahn of the German Aerospace Center in Berlin.
NEWS
By Frank D. Roylance and Frank D. Roylance,Sun Staff Writer | June 15, 1995
PITTSBURGH -- Pushing the Hubble Space Telescope to its limits, astronomers have detected what they say are more than two dozen Halley-sized comets in a great comet reservoir beyond the orbit of Neptune.If they're right, it provides important evidence for the existence of the Kuiper Belt, a vast region beyond Neptune long suspected as the source of many familiar comets that periodically swing by the inner planets and around the sun.It also represents a remarkable performance by Hubble. The comets are incredibly small and dim to be seen from such a distance.
NEWS
By Tom Siegfried and Tom Siegfried,Dallas Morning News | September 17, 1992
DALLAS -- Astronomers have discovered an object on the fringe of the solar system, possibly a gigantic comet, farther from the sun than the outermost planets.It is the most distant body detected in the solar system since Pluto's discovery in 1930."If confirmed, it's fair to say that for astronomy this easily could be the discovery of the year, if not the decade," said Alan Stern, an astronomer at the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, Texas. "In my opinion it is as momentous as the discovery of the first asteroid.
NEWS
By DENNIS O'BRIEN and DENNIS O'BRIEN,SUN REPORTER | November 1, 2005
Scientists using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have found that Pluto has not one, but three moons. The discovery is likely to prompt searches for undiscovered moons elsewhere and shed light on the evolution of the Kuiper Belt, the vast icy region of space beyond Neptune where Pluto resides. "Pluto just became even more interesting," said Hal Weaver, a planetary scientist at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel and co-leader of the team that made the discovery. The newly discovered moons are constantly being pelted by objects in space, sending out debris that gives Pluto an unusual appearance, researchers say. "They should generate rings around Pluto," said the team's other co-leader, Alan Stern of the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colo.
NEWS
BY A SUN REPORTER | August 20, 2006
Pluto's status as a planet was confirmed last week at a meeting in Prague, Czech Republic, of 2,500 astronomers who attended the triannual assembly of the International Astronomical Union, but a long debate about the nature of planets and their definition is likely to continue. As some concerned astronomers have pointed out, the new definition threatens to significantly alter our sense of the solar system: eight large objects that orbit the sun - Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune - with a much smaller one, Pluto, way out on the edge of the neighborhood.
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