Dwarf planet “Farout” could take more than 1,000 years to circle the sun once.

Dwarf planet Farout

Astronomers have discovered the farthest object in the solar system known to humanity so far. The presumably spherical object was provisionally christened “2018 VG18 ” and is nicknamed “Farout”, which literally means “far away”. The Minor Planet Center of the International Astronomical Union IAU announced the discovery on Monday.

The object is estimated to have a diameter of 500 kilometers, which would correspond to about one-tenth of Mercury, the smallest planet in the solar system. “Farout” would be a dwarf planet like Pluto, which has a diameter of about 2,400 kilometers. He also gives off a pink hue, which is usually associated with ice. Because of its long distance, “Farout” could take more than 1,000 years to orbit the sun once.

The distance between the sun and the earth is called the astronomical unit (AU), which is about 150 million kilometers. “Farout” is about 120 AU, the dwarf planet Eris 96 AU and Pluto 34 AU away. The previously unknown object was discovered by three astronomers from Washington, Hawaii and Arizona. The first recordings had been delivered by a telescope in Hawaii, at an observatory in Chile “Farout” was then re-sighted.

“We are finally exploring the edges of our solar system far beyond Pluto,” said Chad Trujillo, one of the three explorers, according to the Carnegie Institution for Science. One reason for this is the new wide-angle digital cameras on some of the world’s largest telescopes. The telescope, which made the first shots of “Farout”, is operated by Japan with a consortium of universities in the US and several research institutes.

Sources: Kurier.at