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article imageEssential Science: Most-distant solar system object ever observed

By Tim Sandle     Dec 24, 2018 in Science
An astronomical story to close out the year. The most-distant solar system object ever observed has been detected by astronomers. The outer solar system objects is described as a 'far out there' dwarf planet.
The discovery has been made by scientists working at Carnegie Institution for Science, and it is of great significance – being the most-distant body ever observed in the solar system. The dwarf planet the first object that has been discovered at a distance more than 100 times farther than Earth is from our Sun.
This size and scale of the Kepler-452 system compared alongside the Kepler-186 system and the solar ...
This size and scale of the Kepler-452 system compared alongside the Kepler-186 system and the solar system. Kepler-186 is a miniature solar system that would fit entirely inside the orbit of Mercury.
NASA/JPL-CalTech/R. Hurt
Farout
The new object is officially called 2018 VG18, although it has been nicknamed "Farout" by the astronomer team. “Farout” is located some 120 astronomical units (or 'Earth-sun units') away from Earth. The planet is about 500 kilometers in diameter, meaning that it is most probably spherical in shape. “Farout” also has a pinkish hue, a color-pattern that's commonly associated with ice-laden objects. Astronomers have calculated that 2018 VG18 requires around 1000 years for a complete orbit around the Sun.
"Farout" now holds the record form farthest object observed in our solar system. To give this some context, the second-most-distant observed solar system object is Eris, at about 96 astronomical units away. Pluto is currently at about 34 astronomical unit away from us.
This artist’s conception shows a hypothetical habitable planet with two moons orbiting a red dwarf...
This artist’s conception shows a hypothetical habitable planet with two moons orbiting a red dwarf star. Astronomers have found that 6 percent of all red dwarf stars have an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone, which is warm enough for liquid water on the planet’s surface. Since red dwarf stars are so common, then statistically the closest Earth-like planet should be only 13 light-years away.
David A. Aguilar (CfA)
According to one of the researchers, Scott S. Sheppard, there remains a lot of learn about "Farout": "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."
Subaru telescope
The images of the dwarf planet were captured using the Japanese Subaru 8-meter telescope located atop Mauna Kea in Hawaii. The Subaru Telescope is a 8.2-meter telescope, and it is the flagship device of the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan. The telescope is named after the open star cluster known in English as the Pleiades. Confirmation of the dwarf planet was made by the Magellan telescope at Carnegie’s Las Campanas Observatory in Chile.
Other objects
Earlier in 2018 the scientists announced the discovery of another distant Solar System object, termed 2015 TG387 and nicknamed "The Goblin," because it was first seen near Halloween. This object is is an extreme trans-Neptunian object and sednoid in the outermost part of the solar system. A sednoid is a trans-Neptunian object with a perihelion greater than 50 astronomical units and a semi-major axis greater than 150 astronomical units.
When it s young  a red dwarf star frequently erupts with strong ultraviolet flares as shown in this ...
When it's young, a red dwarf star frequently erupts with strong ultraviolet flares as shown in this artist's conception. Some have argued that life would be impossible on any planet orbiting in the star's habitable zone as a result. However, the planet's atmosphere could protect the surface, and in fact such stresses could help life to evolve. And when the star ages and settles down, its planet would enjoy billions of years of quiet, steady radiance.
http://www.cfa.harvard.edu/image_archive/2013/13/lores.jpg
Planet X
The research forms part of an on-going quest for a suspected Planet X (with the X standing for unknown), also sometimes called Planet 9. Much of the focus is with the analysis of the orbits of a special class of extreme trans-Neptunian objects, that is, the small, known objects beyond Neptune’s orbit.
The research was funded by NASA Planetary Astronomy grants NNX17AK35G and 80NSSC18K1006.
An artist’s impression of a stretched rocky planet in orbit around a red dwarf star. So close to t...
An artist’s impression of a stretched rocky planet in orbit around a red dwarf star. So close to the star, there is a difference in the strength of the gravitational field on each side of the planet, stretching it significantly.
Royal Astronomical Society - Shivam Sikroria.
Essential Science
 Bordeaux  wine bottles.
'Bordeaux' wine bottles.
This article is part of Digital Journal's regular Essential Science columns. Each week Tim Sandle explores a topical and important scientific issue. Last week we considered why wine goes bad. While the main cause of this off-odor is hydrogen sulfide, which delivers to the affected wine an aroma of sewage or rotten eggs, as been long established what exactly triggers the off-odors has remained unclear - until now.
The week earlier we looked at a new drug combination, which is effective against the skin cancer, and which could save millions of lives each year.
More about Planet, dwarf planet, Astronomy, Solar system
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