Trans-Neptunian Object (artist's impression)

This is an artist's concept of a craggy piece of solar system debris that belongs to a class of bodies called trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs). Most TNOs are small and faint, making them difficult to spot. Generally, they are more than 100 million times fainter than objects visible to the unaided eye. The newfound TNOs range from 40 to 100 kilometres across. In this illustration, the distant Sun is reduced to a bright star at a distance of about 5 billion kilometres. Astronomers culling the data archives of the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope have added 14 new TNOs to the catalog. Their search method promises to turn up hundreds more.


Artwork Credit: NASA, ESA, and G. Bacon (STScI). Science Credit: NASA, ESA, and C. Fuentes (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics)

About the Image

NASA press release
NASA caption
Release date:13 September 2010, 15:00
Size:2550 x 3300 px

About the Object

Name:Trans-Neptunian object
Type:Solar System : Interplanetary Body
Solar System

Image Formats

Large JPEG
1.6 MB
Screensize JPEG
388.8 KB

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