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HubbleSite Hubble Observes Planetoid Sedna, Mystery Deepens

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Space Telescope Science

Astronomers poring over 35 NASA Hubble Space Telescope images of the solar system's farthest known object, unofficially named Sedna, are surprised that the object does not appear to have a companion moon of any substantial size. This unexpected result might offer new clues to the origin and evolution of objects on the far edge of the solar system.

At a distance of over 8 billion miles, Sedna is so far away it is reduced to one picture element (pixel) in the image [at lower right] taken in high-resolution mode with Hubble's Advanced Camera for Surveys. This image sets an upper limit on Sedna's size of 1,000 miles in diameter.

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