Astronomers Discover a Distant Solar System Object - 2015 TG387

Adjust Comment Print

The names, Eris, Makemake, Sedna, Quaoar, Varuna and Haumea, are not part of most peoples' vocabulary, as these are a few of the new dwarf type planets that lie within this wonderful region in the solar system, known as the Kuiper Belt.

This means it takes up to 40,000 years to make a single orbit around the sun.

A new planet dubbed the Goblin has been hiding in the mysterious Oort Cloud in the far reaches of our Solar System.

More news: Damon Wayans Announces He's Quitting 'Lethal Weapon'

"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", he said in a statement. Goblin has an elliptical orbit that brings it closer to the Sun but also flings it further away compared to other inner Oort Cloud objects like 2012 VP113 and Sedna.

2015 TG387 was discovered about 80 astronomical units (AU) from the sun.

"These distant objects are like breadcrumbs leading us to Planet X", said Scott Sheppard, the study's lead author. Meet the Goblin. Formerly known as 2015 TG387, the Goblin gets its name from being discovered around Halloween 2015.

More news: Cubs' Russell suspended for 40 games by Major League Baseball

An artist's conception of distant Planet X, which could be shaping the orbits of smaller extremely distant objects. Follow-up observations revealed the closest distance it gets to the Sun is about 65 AU - nearly twice as much distant as Pluto is from the Sun. One AU is the distance from Earth to the sun, or roughly 93 million miles (150 million kilometers).

The vast distance of this object at 2.5 times the distance of the dwarf planet Pluto makes this a most interesting object out in a region known as the Kuiper Belt. The University of Hawaii's David Tholen said, "We think there could be thousands of small bodies like 2015 TG387 out on the solar system's fringes, but their distance makes finding them very hard".

"These objects are on elongated orbits, and we can only detect them when they are closest to the sun".

More news: Nobel Prize in Chemistry awarded for using evolution to develop new chemicals

"We think there could be thousands of small bodies like 2015 TG387 out on the Solar System's fringes, but their distance makes finding them very hard", according to Tholen, of the University of Hawaii. 2015 TG387 is one of the few known objects that never comes close enough to the solar system's giant planets, like Neptune and Jupiter, to have significant gravitational interactions with them. "We are only seeing the tip of the iceberg", Sheppard said. "For some 99 per cent of its 40,000-year orbit, it would be too faint to see", he said. It has an uncharacteristically elongated orbit as well, the inner planets in the Solar System have a more or less circular orbit. However, no direct evidence for it has been found so far.