Newfound Object Is the Farthest Solar System Body Ever Spotted
The location of 2018 VG18 compared to the orbits of other solar system objects. It lives up to its nickname “Farout”! Credit: Roberto Molar Candanosa/Carnegie Institution for Science
A newly discovered object is the most-distant body ever observed in the solar system — and the first object ever found orbiting at more than 100 times the distance from Earth to the sun.The discovery team nicknamed the object “Farout,” and its provisional designation from the International Astronomical Union is 2018 VG18. Preliminary research suggests it’s a round, pinkish dwarf planet. The same team spotted a faraway dwarf planet nicknamed “The Goblin” in October.
“All that we currently know about 2018 VG18 is its extreme distance from the sun, its approximate diameter, and its color,” David Tholen, a researcher at the University of Hawaii and part of the discovery team, said in a statement. “Because 2018 VG18 is so distant, it orbits very slowly, likely taking more than 1,000 years to take one trip around the Sun.” [The Evidence for ‘Planet Nine’ in Our Solar System (Gallery)]