Science

New comet-like object found in the solar system

The orbit of the newly discovered solar system object SQ372 (blue), in comparison to the orbits of Neptune, Pluto, and Sedna (white, green, red) are shown in this handout graphic provided by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey on 18 August 2008. The location of the Sun is marked by the yellow dot at the center. The inset panel shows an expanded view, including the orbits of Uranus, Saturn, and Jupiter inside the orbit of Neptune. Even on this expanded scale, the size of Earth's orbit would be barely distinguishable from the central dot. The new rocky object similar to a comet and known as a minor planet has been discovered in the solar system some 3.2 billion kilometres from Earth and could provide clues about the formation of comets according to scientists. SLOAN DIGITAL SKY SURVEY HANDOUT, EPA
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