Quantcast
Connect with us

Solar system’s most distant object is ‘Farout’ pink dwarf planet

Published

on

Scientists have discovered the most distant object known in our solar system, so remote and unusual they chose the nickname “Farout” for the slow-moving, icy, pinkish dwarf planet about 120 to 130 times further from the sun than Earth.

Astronomer Scott Sheppard of the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington said on Tuesday the dwarf planet, officially designated as 2018 VG18, is estimated to have a diameter of 310 to 375 miles (500 to 600 km).

ADVERTISEMENT

There are roughly 50 dwarf planets in the solar system. The biggest are Pluto, with a diameter of about 1,470 miles (2,370 km), and Eris, with a diameter of about 1,445 miles (2,325 km).

“When I saw the object for the first time, it was moving so slowly, it was the slowest thing I’ve ever seen. So I kind of muttered to myself, ‘Far out,” kind of like, ‘That’s cool.’ But it’s also a very-far-out object in distance, so that’s why I went with calling it ‘Farout,’” Sheppard said.

Its discovery was announced on Monday by the International Astronomical Union’s Minor Planet Center.

“We don’t know too much about it,” Sheppard added. “We only detected it last month. From its brightness, we can determine its size. We know its color. It has a pinkish, reddish hue to it. If you put ices out there and you irradiate them from the solar radiation over time, ices turn kind of a reddish, pinkish color. So we think its surface is probably ice-covered.”

Sheppard and other scientists spotted Farout during their search for extremely distant solar system objects including a potential Planet X that he said could be five to 10 times the size of Earth. In 2014, these researchers proposed the existence of a ninth major planet at the outer reaches of the solar system.

ADVERTISEMENT

They said Farout is moving so slowly that it might need more than 1,000 years for a single orbit of the sun.

The second-most-distant observed Solar System object is Eris, which orbits at about 96 times the distance of the Sun to the Earth. Pluto orbits at about 34 times the distance of Earth from the Sun.

Reporting by Will Dunham; Editing by David Gregorio

ADVERTISEMENT


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Britain’s Prince Harry and Meghan to give up royal titles — ‘the hardest #Megxit possible’

Published

on

Britain's Prince Harry and his wife Meghan will give up their royal titles and public funding as part of a settlement with the Queen to start a new life away from the British monarchy.

The historic announcement from Buckingham Palace on Saturday follows more than a week of intense private talks aimed at managing the fallout of the globetrotting couple's shock resignation from front-line royal duties.

It means Queen Elizabeth II's grandson Harry and his American TV actress wife Meghan will stop using the titles "royal highness" -- the same fate that befell his late mother Princess Diana after her divorce from Prince Charles in 1996.

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

GOP senator tells home-state press that impeachment trial must be ‘viewed as fair’: report

Published

on

Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) spoke to local reporters on Saturday about her role in the upcoming Donald Trump impeachment trial.

Murkowski explained she would likely vote with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on an initial vote on whether to allow witnesses. However, she left the door open to voting for witnesses after House impeachment managers make their opening case.

"I don't know what more we need until I have been given the base case," she said. "We will have that opportunity to say 'yes' or 'no' ... and if we say 'yes,' the floor is open."

Overall, Murkowski said it was important for the trial to been viewed as fair.

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

White House press secretary urged to do her job: ‘We don’t pay you to be a Twitter troll’

Published

on

White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham was blasted on Saturday over the confusion resulting from her refusal to hold daily press briefings.

CNN senior media reporter Oliver Darcy was alarmed that Grisham's assistant, Hogan Gidley, was forcing reporters to refer to his remarks as coming from a "sources close to the President's legal team."

Darcy noted that Trump had repeatedly questioned the veracity of unnamed sources, making it problematic for Gidley to demand to be quoted as such.

https://twitter.com/oliverdarcy/status/1218704788432572422

Grisham responded to the criticism and asked Darcy to "stop with the righteous indignation.

Continue Reading
 
 
Help Raw Story Uncover Injustice. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1 and go ad-free.
close-image