NASA researchers have discovered a distant object that is in orbit around the Sun, a planetary body located three times the distance between Earth and Pluto. The object, called Sedna, is 13,000 million kilometers from our star, on the outer edge of the Solar System.
This is the first detection of a planetoid located outside the Kuiper belt and belonging to the Oort Cloud, a set of icy objects that constitute the reserve of comets, bodies that from time to time visit the internal Solar System, sometimes approaching the earth. Since Sedna the Sun looks so small that its light could be blocked with the head of a pin. The image represents an artistic conception of Sedna.
Other highlights of Sedna are its size and its reddish color: it is the second reddest body in our planetary system, only surpassed by Mars. Its diameter could be less than 1,700 km (smaller than Pluto, but halfway between that planet and Quaoar). It would be the largest object found since the discovery of Pluto in 1930.
Sedna is extremely far from the Sun, in the coldest regions of the Solar System, where temperatures are never higher than -240 ° C. This planetoid supports even colder conditions, because it only approaches the Sun for a short period of time of the 10,500 years it takes to give a complete revolution around the Sun.
At its most distant point, Sedna is 130,000 million kilometers from our star, the equivalent of 900 times the Earth-Sun distance.
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