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2060 Chiron

2060 Chiron is the name of an object discovered in 1977 by Charlie Kowal[?] and named after Chiron of Greek legend. Although it was initially classified as an asteroid, later dispute arose as to whether it was an asteroid or actually a comet. It has a radius of about 85 km and an orbit in the outer solar system between those of Saturn and Uranus.

The dispute over Chiron's status was when observations showed Chiron to have developed a cometary coma at perihelion! Chiron is officially both a comet and an asteroid, more proof of the very fuzzy dividing line.

Chiron is now classified as a centaur, the first of a class of objects orbiting between the outer planets. Centaurs are not in stable orbits and will eventually be removed by the giant planets. Chiron is probably a refugee from the Kuiper belt.



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