Sedna (provisionally designated 2003 VB12) was discovered by Mike Brown (Caltech), Chad Trujillo (Gemini Observatory) and David Rabinowitz (Yale University) on November 14, 2003. The discovery formed part of a survey begun in 2001 with the Samuel Oschin telescope at Palomar Observatory near San Diego, California using Yale's 160 megapixel Palomar Quest camera. On that day, an object was observed to move by 4.6 arcseconds over 3.1 hours relative to stars, which indicated that its distance was about 100 AU. Follow-up observations in November–December 2003 with the SMARTS telescope at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile as well as with the Tenagra IV telescope at the W. M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii revealed that the object was moving along a distant highly eccentric orbit. Later the object was identified on older precovery images made by the Samuel Oschin telescope as well as on images from the Near Earth Asteroid Tracking consortium. These previous positions expanded its known orbital arc and allowed a more precise calculation of its orbit.