A team of scientists has discovered the farthest planet within our Solar System during their search for the legendary Planet Nine. The mysterious object is a dwarf planet that is located at more than 120 times more distant than Earth is from the Sun.
International Astronomical Union’s Minor Planet Center announced the existence of this dwarf planet. As its official name is hard to remember, 2018 VG18, its discoverers nicknamed it Farout. The US scientists Scott Sheppard of the Carnegie Institute, David Tholen of the University of Hawaii, and Chad Trujillo of the University of Northern Arizona have discovered the new planet by chance.
What they were really looking for was the mysterious Planet Nine. Although it has not been possible to observe this so-called Planet X for now, the team of astronomers believes that it exists because of the supposed influence that its gravity exerts on other smaller bodies.
“2018 VG18 is farther and moves slower than any other object in the Solar System, so it will take us years to determine what its orbit is,” Sheppard said in a press release.
Astronomers Discovered The Farthest Planet Within Our Solar System
“The planet was found at a point in the sky close to that of other more distant bodies known so that it may have an orbit similar to the rest. The similarities in the orbits of many of these objects are the basis for the possible existence of a massive planet at several hundred astronomical units, that influences their orbits,” the astronomer added.
The new planet takes more than 1,000 years to orbit the Sun. According to the researchers, the “Farout” dwarf planet is about 500 kilometers in diameter and appears in pink nuances, suggesting the presence of large amounts of ice on its surface. Also, this small planet, like the other distant ones found so far by astronomers, indicate that a more massive body exists farther away in the Solar System. It could be the legendary Planet Nine.
“The orbital similarities shown by many of the known small, distant Solar System bodies was the catalyst for our original assertion that there is a distant, massive planet at several hundred AU shepherding these smaller objects,” Sheppard added.
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