2012 VP113

Scientists have found a second dwarf planet – after Sedna – that orbits the sun far outside the Kuiper belt. 2012 VP113 is about 450km across and orbits in a highly eccentric orbit, between 12 and 67 billion kilometers. Just to put that into perspective, 67bn km is 447 AU or 0.007 light-years.

This reminds me of the story The Borderland of Sol, by Larry Niven (link contains spoilers); the very outskirts of a system can be a place for an adventure, too. 0.007 light years may seem like a lot, but with ships going at 0.5 parsec a day, it’s just a ten-minute trip.

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