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2003EL61

What is 2003EL6? Soon to be officially named (along the lines of Sedna and Quaoar -- indigenous peoples' gods), 2003El61 is one of most baffling discoveries yet made by Michael Brown's team of astronomers! This body, residing in the far reaches of the Kuiper Belt between Neptune and beyond Pluto, is as wide across as Pluto but shape like a foot ball.


'Nothing else so large and so elongated or so quickly rotating is know anywhere in the solar system.' --(Brown, n.d.b.)

 

Professor Michael Brown has also discovered at least two moons orbiting this very unique world. EL61 spins on its axis (head over tail) every four hours and is the third brightest object yet discovered in this region. Most likely made of solid rock, EL61 is completely covered by a layer of ice crystals. (Brown, n.d.b.) Hopefully the International Astronomic Union will approve the proposed name (yet to be revealed) of this unique body, moving it up in rank to the 'named asteroids and Kuiper Belt objects. Read more about EL61's astronomy . . .

 

 

The orbit of 2003EL61 is shown conceptually below along with the orbits of Neptune and Pluto. The inner planets, Mars, Venus, Earth and Mercury, at this scale, are inside the middle dot that represents the sun! Sedna would be off the entire computer screen. (Brown, n.d.b.)

 

2003EL61 Orbit