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Dwarf Planet V774104

Posted November 18, 2015 7:24 AM by Bayes

I came across this recently in the news and thought I'd pass it along. For reference, Pluto is roughly 2,200 km across.

Astronomers spot most distant object in the solar system, could point to other rogue planets

Astronomers have found the most distant object ever in our solar system, three times farther away than Pluto. The dwarf planet, which has been designated V774104, is between 500 and 1000 kilometers across. It will take another year before scientists pin down its orbit, but it could end up joining an emerging class of extreme solar system objects whose strange orbits point to the hypothetical influence of rogue planets or nearby stars. "We can't explain these objects' orbits from what we know about the solar system," says Scott Sheppard, an astronomer at the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington, D.C., who announced the discovery here today at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society. V774104 currently sits 15.4 billion kilometers from the sun, or 103 astronomical units (AU) away. One AU is the distance between Earth and the sun.

The dwarf planet could eventually join one of two clubs. If its orbit one day takes it closer to our sun, it would become part of a more common population of icy worlds whose orbits can be explained by gravitational interactions with Neptune. But if its orbit never brings it close to the sun, it could join a rare club with two other worlds, Sedna and 2012 VP113. These two dwarf planets never come within 50 AU of the sun, and their orbits swing as far out as 1000 AU. Sheppard calls them "inner Oort cloud objects" to distinguish them from icy Kuiper Belt objects, which reside between 30 and 50 AU. The Oort cloud is a hypothetical, thinly populated sphere of icy bodies, thousands of AU away, that marks the edge of the solar system and the end of the sun's gravitational influence.

Subaru Telescope by Scott Sheppard, Chad Trujillo, and David Tholen

A moving blip in a forest of stars, V774104 was spotted last month by the Subaru telescope in Hawaii.

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#1

Re: Dwarf Planet V774104

11/19/2015 1:45 PM

So it appears to be more than twice as far as makemake which varies from 38 to 53 AU. There's bound to be more of them. Look at how many years it took to discover pluto.

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#2
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Re: Dwarf Planet V774104

11/19/2015 4:20 PM

It is pretty remarkable they are so far out. I'm really interested in understanding why they are out there.

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#3
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Re: Dwarf Planet V774104

11/22/2015 11:57 PM

May be its just a lost satellite that will soon to collide Earth, somewhere in Europe again

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