(Image Courtesy: Carnegie Institution for Science)
(Image Courtesy: Carnegie Institution for Science)

Science

A New Dwarf Planet Discovered In The Outer Solar System

Written By Press Trust Of India | Mumbai | Published:

Hack:

  • The newly found object, called 2015 TG387, was discovered about 80 astronomical units (AU) from the Sun
  • 2015 TG387 has been nicknamed as 'The Goblin', taking scientists one step closer to the rumoured Planet X
  • It was first spotted in 2015 from a dormant volcano in Hawaii, leading to subsequent research

According to recent advancements in the field of outer space research, an object has been spotted in the outer space which has an orbit significantly larger than Pluto.

Scientists may be one step closer to finding the long-rumoured Planet X. The mysterious object - called 2015 TG387 - has been nicknamed as 'The Goblin'. Apparently, it is about approximately 2.5 times away from the Sun as compared to the farthest planet, Pluto. Measured in astronomical units (AU), The Goblin is 80 AU away from the sun. Pluto is around 34 AU. An astronomical unit is used to measure distances within the solar system. An astronomical unit is a unit of length, roughly the distance from Earth to the Sun.

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A scientist, David Tholen, reportedly said that there could be thousands of other bodies like 2015 TG387 in the outer fringes of our solar system. The only thing hindering the discovery of these objects is the distance, making it difficult for the scientists to locate the planets or objects. The detection of 2015 TG387 or The Goblin has been made possible assumably because it was the closest to the sun. In its 40,000 year orbit, the chances of seeing the planet are less than 1 per cent.

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The extremely distant object is far beyond the planet Pluto and may have an orbit that supports the assumption of a Super-Earth or a larger Planet-X. The accidental discovery was made while the researchers were searching for Planet X. The discovery has been called the largest survey of the distant solar system till date. According to a scientist at the Carnegie Institution for Science, these dwarf objects are like breadcrumbs leading the way toward Planet X. The team endeavours to find more numbers of such objects for a better understanding of the outer solar system. The discovery would be a defining milestone in the history of this field and would add on to the knowledge of the evolution of the outer space.

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2015 TG387 was first noticed three years back in October 2015, hence the name. It was seen from a Japanese telescope on top of Mauna Kea, a dormant volcano in Hawaii. It took them some time to see the object and figure out its orbit, as it moves very slowly. Subsequent studies and researches helped in determining the orbit of The Goblin.

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