New Dwarf Planet Found in the Outskirts of the Solar System, Giving Astronomers More Ammunition to Search for … – Universe Today

Astronomers have found a new dwarf planet way out beyond Pluto that never gets closer than 65 AUs to the Sun. It’s nicknamed “The Goblin” which is much more interesting than its science name, 2015 TG387. The Goblin’s orbit is consistent with the much-talked-about but yet-to-be-proven Planet 9.

A team led by astronomer Scott Sheppard from Carnegie University found the planet with the Subaru Telescope on Mauna Kea, Hawaii. The Goblin has a highly-elongated orbit that takes it as far as 2300 AUs from the Sun. It doesn’t interact gravitationally with the other planets in our Solar System, but is bound to the Sun. It’s part of a cluster of Extreme Trans-Neptunal Objects (ETNOs) that together point to the existence of Planet 9.

“These distant objects are like breadcrumbs leading us to Planet X.” Scott Sheppard, Carnegie University.

The Goblin got its name because it was discovered at Halloween. It’s one of a group of objects that are also called Inner Oort Cloud Objects (IOCOs). The group includes 2012 VP113, and Sedna. There are probably many more of these objects out there, but they’re hard to detect because of their distance. Sheppard, and many other astronomers, think that these objects’ highly-elongated orbit is shaped by the so-far undetected Planet 9. Planet 9 would have to be large to shepherd the IOCOs, so discovering it is one of astronomy’s holy grails.

“These so-called Inner Oort Cloud objects like 2015 TG387, 2012 VP113, and Sedna are isolated from most of the Solar System’s known mass, which makes them immensely interesting,” Sheppard explained. “They can be used as probes to understand what is happening at the edge of our Solar System.”

Dwarf planet 2015 TG387, or Goblin, has an orbit that takes it much further from the Sun than

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