Astronomers have observed the most-distant Solar System object ever.
The best part? Scientists say that it may help us reveal the location of the elusive Planet X.
Dubbed ‘Farout’, the new member of the solar system was announced by the International Astronomical Union’s Minor Planet Center and has been given the provisional designation 2018 VG18.
The mystery world is located around 120 astronomical units from the Sun.
Farout has become the first ever member of the solar system found to be located more than 100 times father than Earth is from the Sun, reason why the name Farout fits the mystery world perfectly.
The second farthest object discovered is Eris, located at an approximate distance of 96 Astronomical Units.
Pluto is located at a distance of 24 astronomical units, which makes ‘Farout’ an object more than three-and-a-half-times more distant than the Solar Systems most loved (dwarf)planet.
David Tholen, an astronomer from the University of Hawaii said: “All that we currently know about 2018 VG18 is its extreme distance from the Sun, its approximate diameter, and its color.”
While not much is known about the newly-found dwarf planet astronomers say that thanks to its brightness, we can estimate its size, and it’s about 310 miles in diameters and has a spherical shape.
The dwarf planet has a pinkish hue, a color which is associated with cosmic objects that are rich in ice.
“Because 2018 VG18 is so distant, it orbits very slowly, likely taking more than 1,000 years to take one trip around the Sun.”
The discovery of the object was possible thanks to the Japanese Subaru 8-meter telescope located atop Mauna Kea in Hawaii. Images of the object were taken on November 10, 2018. Astronomers who participated in the discovery include Carnegie’s Scott S. Sheppard, the University of Hawaii’s David Tholen, and Northern Arizona University’s Chad Trujillo.
The discovery of ‘Farout’ was made after astronomers were trying to pinpoint the exact location of Plane X, also referred to as planet Nine.
The newly-found dwarf planet’s orbit is not well known, which means that astronomers still need more data in order to conclude whether it may show signs of planet X.
“2018 VG18 is much more distant and slower moving than any other observed Solar System object, so it will take a few years to fully determine its orbit,” explained Sheppard.
“But it was found in a similar location on the sky to the other known extreme Solar System objects, suggesting it might have the same type of orbit that most of them do.”
“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.”