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What is the new's planets name and how far is it from Earth? Why do scientists care about this planet?
Question Date: 2002-10-17
Answer 1:

(Year 2002) I assume you are talking about the Kuiper Belt Object (KBO) known (unofficially, I guess) as Quaoar (a 288 yr. circular orbit). This object seems to be the largest solar system object discovered since Pluto was detected in 1930.

Based on the info in the article from ScienceNews , and using our knowledge that the earth is one AU (astronomical unit) from the sun and orbits the Sun in one year, we can calculate an estimated distance using Kepler's third law:

(Rq / Re)3 = (Tq / Te )2

Where Te = 1 yr. (Earth's orbit time)

Tq = 288 yr. (Quaoar's orbit time)

Re = 1 AU (mean Earth-Sun distance)

So Rq = 43.6 AU (Quaoar's mean distance from the sun)

Pluto is about 39.5 AU from the Sun, by the way.

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