Object found orbiting Sun

July 29, 2005

Astronomers have found a large object in the solar system's outer reaches, orbiting the sun, the BBC reported Friday.

The astronomers said details of the object are sketchy as it never comes closer to the sun than Neptune and spends most of its time much further out than Pluto, the report said. But they said it is one of the largest objects ever found in the outer solar system and is almost certainly made of ice and rock.

The object is reported to be at least 930 miles across but may be larger than Pluto, which is 1,400 miles across.

It was picked up by astronomers of the Institute of Astrophysics in Andalusia in Spain. U.S. astronomers also appear to have detected it, the BBC said. They found it with one of the twin Keck telescopes in Hawaii.

The discovery will be presented at a conference in Cambridge, England, in September.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

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