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Encyclopedia > Asteroids VII

TRANS-NEPTUNIAN ASTEROIDS

Trans-Neptunian asteroids (or asteroids of the Kuiper Belt) have orbits located 30 to 60 astronomical units from the Sun and are in resonance with the planet Neptune. We suspect more than 2914, of which only 521 are numbered at the present date (January 15, 2022). These objects are considered to be the last remnants of the formation of the solar system and are the source of some comets and Centaurs. We suspect that there are at least 100000 larger than 100km. The largest, Orcus and Quaoar, are more than 1000km in diameter.

These objects are particularly difficult to observe. Their visual magnitude from Earth is greater than 22 and their apparent motion is very slow (the orbital period around the Sun is of the order of several centuries). Their orbits are not yet sufficiently well known, many did not have a name or a serial number. One third of them are similar to Pluto: their motion is in resonance (3: 2) with Neptune (named the "plutinos").


Number Name Size  
in km
 Distance from Sun  
in UA 
 Period  
 in years 
 Inclination   Dates of  
 discovery 
134340 Pluto 2390 29.65/49.31  248 17° 1930
15760 1992 QB1 165 40.90/47.70  294  2° 1992
181708 1993 FW 175 41.01/45.34  287  8° 1993
385185 1993 RO 107 31.49/47.66  248  4° 1993
19308 1996 TO66 680 38.55/48.42  287 27° 1996
47171 1999 TC36 365 31.53/46.46  243  8° 1999
- 1999 XY143 235 43.25/43.25  301  6° 1999
19521 Chaos 420 41.02/51.14  345 12° 1998
20000 Varuna 810 40.96/45.62  300 17° 2000
28978 Ixion 1020 29.69/48.93  235 20° 2001
- 2002 FP7 235 31.85/47.05  255  9° 2002
50000 Quaoar 1300 41.65/44.73  284  8° 2002
90482 0rcus 1400 30.78/48.06  247 21° 2004
- 2005 TN74 105 25.22/34.80  164  3° 2005
(420356) Praamzius 2012 BX85 210 42.8/43.0  170  1° 2005
Some examples of trans-Neptunian asteroids