Askew in the outer solar system | Science News



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Askew in the outer solar system

A chunk of ice orbiting backwards around the sun could offer hints about the mysterious origin of some comets.

10:39pm, October 12, 2008

Politicians may sometimes overuse the word “maverick,” but it’s an apt moniker for a highly askew chunk of ice recently discovered in the outer solar system.

The 50-kilometer–wide body, dubbed 2008 KV42, orbits the sun backwards — opposite the direction of the eight planets and every other remote body known in the solar system. Hand-in-hand with its backward motion, 2008 KV42 also has the most highly inclined orbit of any outer solar system body.

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