A team of astronomers, including associate professor Chad Trujillo of Northern Arizona University’s Department of Astronomy and Planetary Science, have confirmed a planetoid that is almost four times farther from the Sun than Pluto, making it the most distant object ever observed in our solar system. The planetoid, which has been nicknamed “Farfarout,” was first detected in 2018, and the team has now collected enough observations to pin down its orbit. The Minor Planet Center has now given… Read more
Centaurs are minor planets believed to have originated in the Kuiper Belt in the outer solar system. They… Read more
NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope, designed to study the early universe in infrared light, was the first telescope to see light from a planet outside our solar system. Launched in 2003, Spitzer contained infrared detectors of unprecedented sensitivity, providing astronomers a never-before-possible look at the universe.
Spitzer made important discoveries about comets, stars, exoplanets and distant galaxies. Decommissioned earlier this year—11 years beyond its prime… Read more
The majority of asteroids in our solar system are found in the Main Asteroid Belt, which is located between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. Although millions of objects populate the belt, most are relatively small, and astronomers have not actually studied many of them in detail.
NAU assistant professor Cristina Thomas, whose research focuses on asteroids, recently received two grants from NASA to study two… Read more
Icy gas clouds found in deep space between stars are believed to be the birthplace of planets and solar systems. Scientists want to know what these clouds are made… Read more
Chad Trujillo, assistant professor at Northern Arizona University, has been awarded the 2019 Paolo Farinella Prize by the Europlanet Society for his contributions in the field of planetary science concerning “The Trans-Neptunian Population.”
Along with collaborator Scott Sheppard from the Carnegie Institution for Science, Trujillo was honored at an award ceremony on… Read more