NASA | For Students | Asteroid Impact | 99942 Apophis | NEAR Earth Objects |CalTech Astronomy

Kuiper Belt Object -- 2 0 0 4 W D

Solar System Objects

 

 

 

Deeper Exploration

 

 

Images

 

 

References

 

 

2004WD

This Kuiper Belt object discovered in 2004 is soon to be named. Hints are that it will have a designation in the theme of Sedna and Quaoar, gods and goddesses of indigenous peoples. (Brown, n.d.d.)

 

Meanwhile, 2004WD is one of the larges bodies found so far in the Kuiper Belt region between Neptune and Pluto. It is also one of the most distant, measuring approximately 2.4 billion kilometers further out than Pluto. Before the discovery of Sedna in 2003, Pluto defined the 'edge' of our solar system.

 

In the Kuiper Belt region there are hundreds of 'planetoids' but most are less that 100 km wide. 2004WD is possibly 1600 Km in diameter, though still not considered a planet.


' In truth, scientists have been discussing [what constitutes a planet] for a few years now, and currently no consensus has been reached. The real problem is that these "planetoids" like 2004 DW and Quaoar really blur the line between planet and asteroid. .' --( Brown, n.d.d.)

 

Professor Michael Brown and his team of astronomers discovered 2004WD with new technology and the combined efforts of CalTech and the Palomar QUEST Variable Survey at Palomar Mountain observatory. Below are renditions of what the discovering plates looked like. See the real clip and read more about the astronomy of 2004WD . . .

 

The Discovery of 2004WD This conceptual image shows how 2004WD was discovered. By studying the individual plates the little 'dot' at '5 'clock' is clearly seen to be moving over time.

 

 

2003EL61 Orbit