It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
An object in the icy Kuiper belt has been found orbiting the Sun backwards, compared to most other objects in the solar system. It may help explain the origin of an enigmatic family of comets typified by Comet Halley.
The new object, called 2008 KV42, lies in the Kuiper belt, a ring of icy bodies beyond Neptune. Its orbit is inclined 103.5° to the plane of the Earth's orbit, or ecliptic. That means that as it orbits the Sun, it actually travels in the opposite direction to the planets.
A gravitational disturbance likely kicked 2008 KV42 out of the inner Oort cloud and to its present orbit. And Gladman says it might one day be pushed out of that orbit and into one that brings it closer to the Sun, making it a possible "transition object" on its way to becoming a Halley-type comet.