In 2076 We Will Have The Chance To Study Sedna, Next Time Will Be In 11,000 Years

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In 2003, Caltech astronomer Mike Brown discovered 90377 Sedna, a trans-Neptune object known mainly for its highly elliptical orbit of 11,390 years. Its perihelion, its closest point to the Sun, will be in 2076 and then will not be seen for millennia. That is why we must launch a mission in 2029 or 2034.

Sedna has about the same size as Ceres, the largest object in the asteroid belt, but it has a very different composition and history (by the way, do you know that around Ceres you want to create a human colony?). The sky body is unique in its incredible orbit, which leads it to the inner edge of the Oort cloud, the farthest region of the Solar System. How did you get here? There are many theories.

The theory most quoted is that a ninth planet still unknown, perhaps ten times larger than Earth, has interrupted the orbit of Sedna and swept away it and many other objects in very elongated orbits (that ninth planet could be, precisely the At its maximum approach, the dwarf planet will reach about 76 AU from the Sun (to make you understand, Neptune is about 30 AU away).

A team of scientists from the Space Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences recently modeled a series of possible trajectories towards Sedna, favoring a launch date of 2029 as the most feasible option. This hypothetical spacecraft would arrive near the celestial body in about 30 years.

It is unclear whether this mission will be launched in 2029 (and above all, we do not know which agency could support it), but it is a unique opportunity, since next time it will be in 11,000 years.

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