Move over Pluto. The Farout planet is here
The Farout planet, about 120-130 astronomical units from the sun, is 500km in diameter—putting it in the category of dwarf planets as Pluto and Ceres
Move over Pluto. The ex-planet was once considered the outer edge of the solar system, before the Kuiper belt was discovered, and the area beyond that was believed to be empty. But the boundaries of astronomical discovery cannot be contained by belts, even the Kuiper kind. Astronomers at the Carnegie Institution for Science and the International Astronomical Union’s Minor Planet Center last week spotted a mysterious pink dot that is officially the farthest known object in the solar system—for now.
Possible dwarf planet 2018 VG18 is about 120-130 astronomical units (AU) from the sun (one AU is the 93 million miles between the sun and the earth). Pluto is just 34 AU away. That’s reason enough for the new discovery to earn its nickname: Farout. Farout is about 500km in diameter, putting it in the category of dwarf planets such as Pluto and Ceres, and its pinkish colour indicates a large quantity of ice.
The interesting fact is that the discovery was made on 17 December—115 years to the day the Wright brothers made their maiden flight. And that’s no flight of fancy.
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