The galaxy that we live in is indeed quite a wonderful thing. Take a look around the world that we inhabit, and things like the solar system immediately feel very interesting indeed. All it takes is a quick look around to help you see that we are very much in a vast expanse of space, with so much to be found. Recent probes and studies, though, found what is being called “Farout” – the single further object we’ve found in our solar system.
This latest discovery comes after a team of international astronomers found the object located around 11.15 billion miles from the sun. This small, rounded object sits around 17.95 billion km away, then, and currently carries a rich, pink hue. The discovery was made using the Las Campanas Observatory in Chile.
310 miles in diameter, this interesting discovery is a landmark moment as it becomes the first object discovered to be more than 100 Astronomical Units (AU) from our own star. For reference, 1 AU is the distance from the Earth to the Sun. in total, this sits around 120 AU, while our furthest find yet until now was Eris the dwarf planet found at around 96 AU.
If you want a good example of just how far this is, Pluto is around 34 AU!
It’s also very interesting as it brings us into contact with something much further out than Pluto. It would be something very interesting to hear more about, especially as the orbits of these objects appear to be influenced via the gravity of a large-scale planet. Some, then, estimate that this could be the infamous Planet 9 which could, in theory, sit as far back as 200 AU from the Sun.
Speaking about this was co-discoverer Scott Sheppard, part of the Carnegie Institution for Science, who said: “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.
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.”
While this might just be one smaller discovery, it does create much excitement about what we might find if we continue to look further beyond our present limits.
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