Scrawny dwarf planet, Goblin, found beyond Pluto

"Goblin" dwarf planet found lurking at the extreme fringes of the solar system

Astronomers looking for the mysterious ninth planet, or planet X, have found a dwarf planet.

No doubt the observation and naming of The Goblin-which is about 186 miles across, takes 40,000 years to orbit the sun-will set off new debates around planetary categorization.

"The more of them we can find, the better we can understand the outer solar system and the possible planet that we think is shaping their orbits - a discovery that would redefine our knowledge of the solar system's evolution", he said in a statement.

Astronomers have discovered a new object at the edge of our solar system.

The discovery was made by Carnegie Institution for Sciences' Scott Sheppard, Northern Arizona University's Chad Trujillo and the University of Hawaiʻi Institute for Astronomy's David Tholen.

The Goblin got its name because it was discovered at Halloween. The supposed planet has been dubbed "Planet 9" or "Planet X", and its orbit would be hundreds of AUs from the Sun.

The recently discovered dwarf planet officially named 2015 TG387 (and nicknamed "The Goblin") isn't Planet Nine (or Planet X, as it's often referred to).

Believed to possibly exist in the distant region known as the Oort Cloud, astronomers think its existence could provide an answer for numerous odd orbits observed in the solar system, including The Goblin.

The vast distance of this object at 2.5 times the distance of the dwarf planet Pluto makes this a most interesting object out in a region known as the Kuiper Belt.

In fact, the object is so far away that even during its perihelion-the part of the orbit that is closest to the Sun-it is no more than 65 AU. Goblin lies about 80 AU from the Sun, making it 80 times more distant than the Earth is from the Sun. "For some 99 percent of its 40,000-year orbit, it would be too faint to see".

"We think there could be thousands of small bodies like 2015 TG387 out on the solar system's fringes, but their distance makes finding them very hard", said David Tholen, an astronomer at the University of Hawaii.

"We are only just now uncovering what the very outer solar system might look like and what might be out there", said Scott Sheppard of the research team.

"These distant objects are like breadcrumbs leading us to Planet X". Most simulations showed that the Goblin's orbit would have been stable for the age of the Solar System. TG387 is the only known object that revolves around the Sun and does not have any significant gravitational interactions with the gas giants Neptune and Jupiter, says the report. "These simulations do not prove that there's another massive planet in our Solar System, but they are further evidence that something big could be out there" Trujillo concludes.

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