Finding the mysterious Planet Nine – yes, the planet some conspiracy theorists say it’s going to crash into Earth and cause the “Nibiru Cataclysm” – has been quite a task! Nonetheless, according to Advocator, the quest to find the elusive celestial body might have received an incredible boost.
In the Astronomical Journal, Scott Sheppard (Carnegie University) and his team wrote about a dwarf planet they discovered and named – 2015 TG387. The nickname of the dwarf planet is “Goblin,” and according to the study, it’s 80 times further from Earth than the Sun is (80 astronomical units – AU). However, the elongated orbit makes it get to a distance of 2.300 AU.
“These so-called Inner Oort Cloud objects like 2015 TG387, 2012 VP113, and Sedna are isolated from most of the solar system’s known mass, which makes them immensely interesting. They can be used as probes to understand what is happening at the edge of our solar system,” explains Sheppard.
After first being observed in October 2015 at the Subaru 8-metre telescope in Hawaii, analysis and observations up until this year helped astronomers figure out the orbit of the Dwarf planet.
And by following its orbit, scientists now got more evidence which supports the existence of a ninth planet – also called Planet X – which is far beyond Pluto.
How Will “The Goblin” Lead Us to Planet Nine?
Goblin is 300km wide and has a similar orbit as 2012 VP113 Sedna and other trans-Neptunian objects, which means something pushes them into that orbit – could it be the elusive Planet X that affects other smaller space objects? Sheppard says:
“These distance objects are like breadcrumbs leading us to Planet X. The more of them we can find, the better we can understand the outer solar system and the possible planet that we think is shaping their orbits – a discovery that would redefine our knowledge of the solar system’s evolution.”
Rex Austinwas born and raised in Thunder Bay Ontario on the shores of Lake Superior. Apart from running his own podcast (Ice Fishing And Other “Cool” Things), he spends his time canoeing and backpacking in Northern Ontario.. As a journalist Rex has published stories for Global News (Thunder Bay) we well as Buzz Feed and Joystiq. As a contributor to Great Lakes Ledger, Rex most covers science and health stories. Contact Rexhere