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Astronomers were detected only & # 39; Farout & # 39 ;, the most famous object in the solar system

Artist's perception of 201 8 VG18 or "Farout." The sun is displayed in the background. Illustration: oberto Molar Candanosa / Carnegie Department of Science An astronomer group has discovered the most extreme trans-Neptunian object in the outer range of the solar system. Dubbed "Farout", the object is more than 120 times longer from the sun than the Earth. Exciting, given preliminary estimates of its size, it can actually be a dwarf planet – but it's still too small to qualify as the elusive Planet X. The recently discovered object was announced today by the International Astronomical Union & # 39; s Minor Planet Center. Many years of observations will be required to fully characterize the object and its orbital path, but the IAU has added it to its database under the provisional name 2018 VG18, along with its coordinates and observations. Farout, as it has been nicknamed, was discovered by astronomer Scott S. Sheppard of Carnegie Institution for Science and his colleagues at the University of Hawaii and Northern Arizona University. Farout was observed only November 10, 2018 by astronomers who used the Japanese Subaru 8 meter telescope located on top of Mauna Kea in Hawaii. The item was observed in early December with the Magellan telescope at Las Campana's observatory in Chile. These multiple observations, in addition to confirming the object, were used to determine their path across the night sky along with its size, brightness and color. The solar system's distance to the scale, showing the newly discovered…

Artist’s perception of 201

8 VG18 or “Farout.” The sun is displayed in the background. Illustration: oberto Molar Candanosa / Carnegie Department of Science

An astronomer group has discovered the most extreme trans-Neptunian object in the outer range of the solar system. Dubbed “Farout”, the object is more than 120 times longer from the sun than the Earth. Exciting, given preliminary estimates of its size, it can actually be a dwarf planet – but it’s still too small to qualify as the elusive Planet X.

The recently discovered object was announced today by the International Astronomical Union & # 39; s Minor Planet Center. Many years of observations will be required to fully characterize the object and its orbital path, but the IAU has added it to its database under the provisional name 2018 VG18, along with its coordinates and observations. Farout, as it has been nicknamed, was discovered by astronomer Scott S. Sheppard of Carnegie Institution for Science and his colleagues at the University of Hawaii and Northern Arizona University.

Farout was observed only November 10, 2018 by astronomers who used the Japanese Subaru 8 meter telescope located on top of Mauna Kea in Hawaii. The item was observed in early December with the Magellan telescope at Las Campana’s observatory in Chile. These multiple observations, in addition to confirming the object, were used to determine their path across the night sky along with its size, brightness and color.

The solar system’s distance to the scale, showing the newly discovered 2018 VG18 compared with other known solar system objects. Image: Oberto Molar Candanosa / Scott S. Sheppard / Carnegie Department of Science

This extreme trans-Neptune object is about 120 astronomical units (AU) from Earth, where 1 AU is the average distance from Earth to Sun about 92 million miles or 149 million kilometers). Farout is so far out that light from the sun takes 16 hours and 40 minutes to drive the distance of 11 billion miles.

“2018 VG18 is the first object found over 100 AU in our Solar System,” Sheppard told Gizmodo. “It’s so slow that it takes a few years to see enough movement of the object to determine its orbit around the sun.”

Sheppard and his colleagues would not be surprised if a single year at Farout lasts more than 1,000 years of age.

Pluto is in comparison about 34 AU from the sun, so Farout is 3.5 times more distant. Other extreme trans-Neptune objects include Eris on 96 AU and Goblin, discovered earlier this year, at 90 AU.

Astronomers do not know much about Farout’s physical properties because it is so weak.

“Based on its brightness and distance, it is likely about 500 to 600 km (310 to 372 miles) in diameter. In this size, gravity will dominate over what material strength the object may have, and thus it should be spherical in form, “sheppard said. “It would make it a dwarf plan. The color of the object is pink in red, which indicates that it has an oily surface. Ice is usually reddish after irradiation for long periods of sun’s radiation.”

Pictures showing 2018 VG18 November 10, 2018. The pictures were taken an hour from each other.

Image: Scott S. Sheppard / David Tholen

Farout was discovered as part of the search for the elusive Planet Nine, sometimes known as Planet X. This hypothetical planet is believed to exist in the outer reach of the solar system because of how other Kuiper Belt Object Oriented. But, as Sheppard pointed out, Farout does not qualify as Planet X, which is considered to be much larger.

“Planet X has to be several times larger than the Earth to gravitationally drive the other smaller objects around and harden them to similar types of lanes,” Sheppard explained. “Planet X is probably even further away, by a few hundred AU.”

It is reasonable to wonder how this item managed to deviate so far from the solar system planet package; Astronomers do not know the answer to this question until Farout’s path can be determined.

“If its orbit brings it closer to any point, like near Neptune or any of the other giant planets, then it was likely spread out to its present place and orbit through gravity interacting with the planet like Neptune,” said Sheppard. “If its orbit never takes it into the giant plane region of our solar system, it will be a big question about how it came out. This would suggest that Planet X pulled it out to this great distance.”

Either the result would be exciting; The first one would help us better understand the history of the solar system, while the other would add that Planet X actually exists.

As a fun, definitive, sending of a probe to Farout is not a very far out idea (relax, I put together). Currently, the New Horizons probe is scheduled to visit Ultima Thule, a distant Kuiper Belt object on New Year’s Day, traveling at approximately 36,350 miles per hour (58,500 kilometers per hour). At that rate, it would take a similar probe anywhere between 35 and 40 years to reach Farout from the ground. Perhaps something for NASA to think about when planning for next-generation space mission.

[Carnegie Science]
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