Beyond Pluto

KBO1110113Y1110113Y (aka PT1) is Kuiper Belt Object (KBO) that is potentially reachable as a additional flyby target for the Pluto-bound New Horizons spacecraft. It is visible in this image taken with the Hubble Space Telescope. Hubble tracked the KBO moving against the star field in the constellation Sagittarius. The object is small, no bigger than 19 to 28 miles across, and it is a relic of the outer solar system from billions years ago, during the period when the Sun formed. As the KBO orbits the Sun, its position noticeably shifts between exposures taken approximately 10 minutes apart, resulting in the diagonal string of equally spaced dots near the center of the picture. This KBO has been identified as “definitely reachable” by New Horizons.

Image Credit: NASA

Leave a Reply