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2002 MS4

307261 2002 MS4

Potential Dwarf Planet of the Solar System

A member of the populous group of bodies known as cubewanos or classical Kuiper Belt objects that follow long orbital paths around the Sun beyond the orbit of Neptune. In common with many of these outer planetoids, the orbit of 2002 MS4 is both rather inclined and rather eccentric. The plane of its orbit is inclined by nearly 18° to the Ecliptic plane of the Solar System, and can carry it out as far as 47.7 AU from the Sun. It has recently passed that aphelion point, and has begun to follow a long inward path that will bring it to its perihelion point (35.6 AU from the Sun) in the year 2123.

Little is known with certainty about the physical structure of 2002 MS4, but it appears to have a diameter of at least 700km, and quite possibly more than 900km (making it comparable with Ceres in the main Asteroid Belt). This would place it among the larger bodies known in its region of the outer Solar System, and it is a probable candidate for the status of dwarf planet.


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