July 30, 2005

Palomar Observatory Planet Discovery Utilized HPWREN for Data Transfers

Astronomers at Caltech have announced the discovery of a tenth planet in our solar system. The new object, temporarily designated 2003 UB313, was found using the robotic 48-inch Samuel Oschin Telescope at the Palomar Observatory. The telescope's wide-field of view and 161-megapixel camera generate a tremendous amount of data that is analyzed by astronomers remotely. Such operations would be impossible without the HPWREN microwave relay which transmits the data to astronomers at other locations.

New planet

These time-lapse images of a newfound planet in our solar system, called 2003UB313, were taken in October 2003 using the Samuel Oschin Telescope at the Palomar Observatory near San Diego, CA. The planet, circled in white, is seen moving across a field of stars. The three images were taken about 90 minutes apart.

Robotic Samuel Oschin Telescope at Palomar Observatory
The new planet was discovered by astronomers using the robotic Samuel Oschin Telescope at Palomar Observatory. Imaging data of the planet discovery was sent to astronomers at Caltech in Pasadena using the HPWREN microwave relay network which connects Palomar's telescopes to astronomers across the country.

This artist's concept shows the planet catalogued as 2003UB313 at the lonely outer fringes of our solar system. Our Sun can be seen in the distance. The new planet, which is yet to be formally named, is at least as big as Pluto and about three times farther away from the Sun than Pluto. It is very cold and dark. The planet was discovered by the Samuel Oschin Telescope at the Palomar Observatory near San Diego, Calif., on Jan. 8, 2005. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech New planet

W. Scott Kardel, Public Affairs Coordinator, Palomar Observatory

 back to top

  back to HPWREN news

field research
network analysis
  ~ university of california, san diego ~ © 2000 ~