American astronomers officially announcedthe discovery of another dwarf planet inside the solar system. The object is the most distant planet ever discovered from the Sun. The tiny world, formally named 2018 VG18, is nicknamed Farout (from English “far out” is very far) and lies at a distance of about 18 billion kilometers from the Sun, which is about 3.5 times farther than the distance from our star to Pluto, reports portal NewScientist.
A team of scientists discovered Farout usingJapanese Subaru telescope installed on the island of Hawaii. Usually, such distant objects are found due to the numerous analysis of images of the same region of space - scientists thus try to find some point moving against the background of other stars. New dwarf planet discovered astronomer Scott Sheppard of the Carnegie Institute.
About the new world almost nothing is known. Based on the data obtained, the diameter of the object is about 500 kilometers, which is sufficient for it to be classified by the dwarf planet. It is also known that the object has a pinkish tinge, which may indicate that it has an icy surface.
Scientists hope new Farout observationswill allow to know one very important characteristic - its orbit. Interest in this object is due to its location. Similar very distant objects have a very strange behavior in their orbits, which, according to scientists, is caused by some very strong gravitational anomaly. Based on this, astronomers make the assumption that at the farthest reaches of the solar system there can be a very large planet that creates these gravitational anomalies in the observed objects. Scientists dubbed this undetected planet "Planet X" or "Ninth Planet."
Approximate distances. The new dwarf world is at a distance of about 120 AU. from the sun
If the dwarf planet Farout isdemonstrating the same unusual behavior, this will narrow the search for a hypothetical Planet X, the researchers said. In fact, Farout itself was discovered during the search for this very Planet X.
"She can push us in rightdirection of the search and say whether there is another large planet in the solar system. But first, we need to find out all the details and features of the Farout orbit, ”Sheppard comments.
“Most likely, it takes more than 1000 years for one revolution around the Sun of a dwarf planet, so it will take several years of observation to calculate everything correctly,” the scientist adds.
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