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20000 Varuna facts for kids

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20000 Varuna
Artist's idea of what Varuna may look like

Artist's idea of what Varuna may look like
Discovered by R. McMillan (Spacewatch)
Discovery date 28 November 2000
MPC designation 20000 Varuna
2000 WR106
TNO (cubewano)
Orbital characteristics
Epoch 14 July 2004 (JD 2453200.5)
Aphelion 6 781.985 Gm (45.335 AU)
Perihelion 6 120.810 Gm (40.915 AU)
6 451.398 Gm (43.129 AU)
Eccentricity 0.051
103 440.6 d (283.20 a)
4.53 km/s
Inclination 17.2°
Physical characteristics

800 km (avg of thermals)

(scalene ellipsoid)?
Mass ≈3.7×1020? kg
Mean density
0.992 g/cm³
0.15 m/s²
0.39 km/s
0.132 16 d (3.17 h)
Albedo 0.037–0.26
Temperature ≈43–41 K
Spectral type
(moderately red) B-V=0.93 V-R=0.64
19.9 (opposition)

20000 Varuna is a big Kuiper belt object (KBO) and could be a dwarf planet. Before it was named Varuna, it had the provisional designation 2000 WR106.

Varuna is named after the Hindu deity Varuṇa.

Physical characteristics

Varuna completes one rotation in about 3.17 hours (or 6.34 hours, depending on whether the light curve is single or double-peaked). Given the fast rotation, which is not common for objects so big, Varuna is thought to be a stretched spheroid, with a density around 1g/cm³ (close to the density of water).

The surface of Varuna is somewhat red and small amounts of water ice have been found on its surface.

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