There’s something moving way out in space, and NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft saw it crawling through the void. A short animation shows an object in the Kuiper Belt, a region beyond Neptune’s orbit, on the move, going about its space business against a backdrop of stars.

The animation consists of four frames, each taken an hour apart. New Horizons’ Long Range Reconnaissance Imager took the pictures on November 2, and NASA released the compilation on Thursday.

The image quality is such that we Earthlings should have a blast imagining far-flung possibilities. It looks like a grainy shot of a UFO. What’s actually happening is that the Kuiper Belt is full of asteroids, comets and small icy bodies and this moving object is one of those.

NASA identified the object as 1994 JR1. A scientific paper from 2012 published in the Monthly Notices Letters of the Royal Astronomical Society identifies 1994 JR1 as “an accidental quasi-satellite of Pluto.” That means it stays fairly close to Pluto, but doesn’t actually orbit the dwarf planet like a moon. Rather, it orbits the sun.

Read the Full Article: Source – c|net
Time For Truth: (c|net) – NASA spacecraft spots wandering object in far-off Kuiper Belt

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