The News
Capital Coahuila
Capital Querétaro
Capital Edo. de Méx.
Capital México
Capital Mujer
Reporte Índigo
Estadio Deportes
The News
Efekto
Green TV
Revista Cambio
Digital
Prensa
Radio
TV

Farout: Scientists spot solar system's farthest known object

By The News · 17 of December 2018 21:20:15
This image provided by the Carnegie Institution for Science shows an artist's concept of a dwarf planet that astronomers say is the farthest known object in our solar system, which they have nicknamed "Farout." The International Astronomical Union's Minor Planet Center announced the discovery of the pink cosmic body Monday, Dec. 17, 2018. (Roberto Molar Candanosa/Carnegie Institution for Science via AP), No available, This image provided by the Carnegie Institution for Science shows an artist's concept of a dwarf planet that astronomers say is the farthest known object in our solar system, which they have nicknamed "Farout." The International Astronomical Union's Minor Planet Center announced the discovery of the pink cosmic body Monday, Dec. 17, 2018. (Roberto Molar Candanosa/Carnegie Institution for Science via AP)

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Astronomers have spotted the farthest known object in our solar system — and they’ve nicknamed the pink cosmic body “Farout.”

The International Astronomical Union’s Minor Planet Center announced the discovery Monday.

“Farout” is about 120 astronomical units away — that’s 120 times the distance between Earth and the sun, or 11 billion miles. The previous record-holder was the dwarf planet Eris at 96 astronomical units. Pluto, by comparison, is 34 astronomical units away.

The Carnegie Institution’s Scott Sheppard said the object is so far away and moving so slowly it will take a few years to determine its orbit. At that distance, it could take more than 1,000 years to orbit the sun.

Sheppard and his team spied the dwarf planet in November using a telescope in Hawaii. Their finding was confirmed by a telescope in Chile.

“I actually uttered “farout” when I first found this object, because I immediately noticed from its slow movement that it must be far out there,” Sheppard wrote in an email. “It is the slowest moving object I have ever seen and is really out there.”

It is an estimated 310 miles (500 kilometers) across and believed to be round. Its pink shade indicates an ice-rich object. Little else is known.

The discovery came about as the astronomers were searching for the hypothetical Planet X, a massive planet believed by some to be orbiting the sun from vast distances, well beyond Pluto.

___

The Associated Press Health & Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.