Buffy the theory slayer

Tom reports on the discovery of a Kuiper Belt object currently going by the temporary name 'Buffy'. The object is officially named 2004 XR 190 and was discovered by astronomers from Canada, France and the US. The object orbits the sun in a fairly circular orbit between 52 and 62 AU (about 7.8 - 9.3 billion kilometers) so is quite unusual; Kuiper belt objects normally have more elliptical orbits. Its orbit is also tilted at 47° compared to the rest of the solar system making it odd in more way than one. Both these oddities cause some difficulties for the current ideas about the way the Kuiper belt came into being. This will mean that more complex theories may have to be considered.

I presume the press-friendly name of Buffy takes its lead from Mike Brown's Xena earlier in the year.

Posted in astro blog by Stuart on Tuesday 13th Dec 2005 (19:04 UTC) | Permalink
[an error occurred while processing this directive]
[an error occurred while processing this directive]