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Exploring the Trans-Neptunian Solar System

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In the last decade, our knowledge of the outer solar system has been transformed as a result of the Voyager 2 encounter with Neptune and its satellite Triton and from Earth-based observations of the Pluto-Charon system. However, the planetary system does not simply end at the distance of Pluto and Neptune. In the past few years, dozens of bodies have been discovered in near-circular, low inclination orbits near or beyond the orbit of Neptune. These bodies are now believed to be directly related to each other and to Pluto, Charon, and Triton, and as a class they define and occupy the inner boundary of a hitherto unexplored component of the solar system, the trans-neptunian region. Exploring the Trans-Neptunian Solar System reviews current understanding of the trans-neptunian solar system and makes recommendations for the future exploration of this distant realm.

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Suggested Citation

National Research Council. 1998. Exploring the Trans-Neptunian Solar System. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/6080.

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Publication Info

60 pages | 6 x 9
ISBNs:
  • Paperback: 978-0-309-06041-7
  • Ebook: 978-0-309-17412-1
DOI: https://doi.org/10.17226/6080
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