Tagged With kuiper belt objects

Pluto may not be a planet, but it remains one of the most intriguing objects in the outer Solar System. Its unexpected chemical composition has confounded scientists for years, but a new theory may finally hold the answer. Pluto, according to a pair of Southwest Research Institute scientists, is basically an overgrown comet.

NASA's New Horizons spacecraft is currently hurtling towards MU69, a Kuiper Belt object located around 1.6 billion km past Pluto. Details of this distant object just keep getting more intriguing. In addition to having a reddish hue and potentially consisting of two self-orbiting objects, MU69 may have a small moon, the latest research suggests. So what we once thought was a single object might actually be three.

New Horizons is currently making its way to the outer reaches of the Kuiper Belt en route to a distant destination beyond Pluto. Along the way, the intrepid spacecraft has captured unprecedented images of a distant object called Quaoar -- a dwarf planet about half the size of Pluto.