Massive crater found on distant world far beyond Neptune


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An artist’s impression of 2002 MS4, made before the new measurements of its shape

Courtesy Superpartes/Space Engine planetary Database Wiki, CC-BY-SA.

An object in the outer solar system appears to have had a huge chunk taken out of it in a violent collision, despite such impacts being rare at this distance from the sun.

Flavia Rommel at the Federal University of Technology in Brazil and her colleagues enlisted the help of hundreds of amateur astronomers to study the distant world 2002 MS4, found beyond Neptune’s orbit in the Kuiper belt. The so-called trans-Neptunian object (TNO), discovered in 2002, …

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