Astronomers Find New Planet, the Furthest Known in Our Solar System

A small group of astronomers recently tasked them with trying to discover planets and objects even further out than the most distant objects previously discovered.

This team has announced the discovery of a new dwarf planet dubbed 'Farfarout' that is now believed to be the most distant known object in our solar system.

Scott Sheppard of the Carnegie Institution for Science discovered the object. He says, "It is a fairly faint object discovered by us in January data from the Subaru telescope. Based on its distance and brightness, it is likely about [250 miles] in size. This is roughly a quarter the diameter of Ceres, which makes Farfarout a relatively small dwarf planet."

The planet is estimated to be around 140 astronomical units from the Sun. By comparison, the Earth is 1 AU from the Sun, Jupiter is about 5.2 AU from the Sun, and Pluto is about 39.5 AU from the Sun.

Sheppard explains that his research team has studied about 25 percent of the sky in search of theses distant objects and says that Farfarout is right at the edge of the telescope's limit for detection, although "there are likely a few bigger objects even farther out than Farfarout that we should be able to detect."

Astronomers hope that by studying the behavior of Farfarout, more evidence can be compiled to lead to the discovery of the hypothetical Planet Nine, which is believe to orbit roughly 250 AU from the Sun and is about the size of Neptune.

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Photo Credit: Getty Images

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