Artist’s impression of 50000 Quaoar, Neptune and our sun by VegaStar Carpentier in Paris.


Comparison via NASA

EARTHSKY // TODAY’S IMAGE RELEASE DATE: FEB 17, 2013

Quaoar, a rocky world orbiting beyond Neptune

Artist’s impression of 50,000 Quaoar, a small rocky world with its own moon, a billion kilometers beyond Pluto.

VegaStar Carpentier in Paris passed along this artist’s impression of 50000 Quaoar, a small rocky world with its own moon, located in the outer solar system. It’s massive enough to be considered a dwarf planet – much as Pluto is now considered a dwarf planet – under new guidelines from the International Astronomical Union (IAU). But the IAU hasn’t recognized Quaoar as a dwarf planet, yet. VegaStar wrote:

This is an artistic view in the foreground Quaoar, Neptune, and our sun ..

What is Quaoar? Michael Brown and Chadwick Trujillo of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena discovered this object in 2002. It is extremely faint as seen from Earth, but they used the large Palomar 48-inch telescope to notice it creeping in front of the star background. Its motion in front of the stars showed that it is closer to us than the stars, a member of our own solar system. From the first, Quaoar appeared relatively bright for such a distant object, but it was too small for even large telescopes to see in any detail.

Read more:Quaoar, a rocky world orbiting beyond Neptune | Today's Image | EarthSky.

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