Cosmic objects with strange orbits discovered beyond Neptune

Many of the objects just discovered hail from the Kuiper Belt, a distant region of the solar system full of icy bodies. (Image credit: MARK GARLICK/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY via Getty Images)

A six-year search of space beyond the orbit of Neptune has netted 461 newly discovered objects. 

These objects include four that are more than 230 astronomical units (AU) from the sun. (An astronomical unit is the distance from the Earth to the sun, about 93 million miles or 149.6 million kilometers). These extraordinarily distant objects might shed light on Planet Nine, a theoretical, never-observed body that might be hiding in deep space, its gravity affecting the orbits of some of the rocky objects at the solar system‘s edge. 


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