Universe Guide


Varuna is a Kuiper Belt object, a large rock that orbits round outside the orbit of Neptune. It has been categorised as a Kuiper Belt object. Its mass is estimated/calculated at being ~5.9x10^20 kg kg. Its name is derived from Hindu God. It has an alternative name which is 2000 WR 106. Its density has been calculated at being ~1 g/cm2.

Varuna was discovered on 28 November 2000 by R. McMilan. Its orbit takes 103440.6 d (283.20 years) years to travel round the Sun. Its takes 6.3436 Hours to do a full rotation period.

The absolute magnitude of the object is 3.7 which is the brightness of the object. A higher absolute magnitude means that the object is faint whereas a very low number means it is very bright.

The albedo of the object is 0.038. The Albedo is the amount of radiation that is reflected back into space by the object.

The Aphelion of the object is 45.335 A.U. which is the point in the orbit that is furthest from the object that it is orbit. At this point, it will then return back to the orbit target. The Perihelion of the object is 6120.810 GM (40.915 AU) A.U. which is the point in the orbit that is closest to the object that it is orbit around. The Longitude of Ascending Node of the object is 97.296 degrees. It is the angle between the Reference Direction and the Ascending Node. It is normally represented by the greek letter Ω. The ascending node is the point in which the object passes north. The descending node is the southern.The Argument of Perihelion is 271.631. It is the angle along the orbit of a planet or other Solar System object as measured from the ascending node (analogous to right ascension and longitude) Ref:Hawaii.

The mean anomoly is 89.673, is the angular distance of the planet from the perihelion or aphelion. Ref:Dictionary.The Escape Velocity of the object is 0.39 km/s km/h. The Escape Velocity is the speed an object needs to be travelling in order to break free from the objects gravity. The larger an object is, the more velocity (speed) is needed to break free from the object.The Semi-Major Axis of the orbit is 6451.398 GM (43.129 AU), which is the furthest point from the centre to the edge of an elliptical point.

The mean temperature of the object is ~43 K.

The surface gravity of the said item is 0.15 m/s2.

The orbital inclination, the angle at which Varuna orbits in relation to the orbital plane is 17.2 degrees. The orbital eccentricity is 0.051, it is the degree at which Varuna orbits close to a circular (0) orbit as opposed to an elliptical (1) orbit.

Path of Varuna Orbit

If the white lines are above, then the path of the object is under the ecliptic. If the white lines are below, the path is above the ecliptic. This refers to the Inclination of the object. The image was created using N.A.S.A. Solar System Dynamics.

Path of Varuna Orbit

Varuna Facts

TypeKuiper Belt Object
Mass (kg)~5.9x10^20 kg
Name OriginHindu God
Alternative Name2000 WR 106
Density (g/cm^3)~1 g/cm2
Date of Discovery28 November 2000
DiscovererR. McMilan
Orbital Period103440.6 d (283.20 years)
Rotation Period6.3436 Hours
Absolute Magnitude3.7
Aphelion (Furthest)45.335 A.U.
Perihelion (Nearest)6120.810 GM (40.915 AU) A.U.
Longitude Of Ascending Node97.296
Argument of Perihelion271.631
Mean Anomoly89.673
Escape Velocity (km/h)0.39 km/s
Semi-Major Axis6451.398 GM (43.129 AU)
Mean Surface Temperature~43 K
Surface Gravity (m/s^2)0.15 m/s2
Orbital Inclination (degrees)17.2
Orbital Eccentricity0.051

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