It is unclear where Sedna was formed, or why its orbit is so elongated. It does not appear to be a Kuiper belt object, because its orbit never gets close to that region of space; some astronomers have suggested Sedna might be an inner Oort cloud object (see comet). Sedna was discovered on Nov. 14, 2003, by astronomers Mike Brown, Chad Trujillo, and David Rabinowitz, using computer analysis of images taken in a survey of the Kuiper belt. It was named for the Inuit goddess of the ocean because of the cold, remote location its orbit traverses. The term
sednoid was coined to described bodies found between the Oort cloud and Kuiper belt; a second such planetoid was discovered in 2012.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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