Kuiper Belt Objects

updated: 21 April 1994
Kuiper Belt Objects are largely found out beyond the orbit of Pluto. It is possible that Pluto-Charon simply represent the largest of these objects.

Object 1993 SC. These two frames show the movement of 1993SC. In the first frame, the object is located above and to the left of the elliptical feature (galaxy) in the right center of the image. In the second figure, 1993SC has moved toward the lower right, so that it is almost touching the elliptical galaxy.

1993 SC was discovered by Alan Fitzsimmons, Iwan Williams, and Donal O'Ceallaigh on September 17, 1993. These two are the original discovery images, taken about 4.6 hours apart using the 2.5 m Issac Newton Telescope on the island of La Palma in the Canary Islands. The image was taken through this optical telescope at red wavelengths, where the telescope's detector is most efficient and absorption by the Earth's atmopshere is least. 1993 SC has a red magnitude of approximately 21.7, and lies approximately 34.5 astronomical units from the sun. The object likely has a diameter of 300 km or less.

(Figures courtesy Alan Fitzsimmons, Queens University, Belfast)