The Goblin, a dwarf planet, found far beyond Pluto

The discovery of 2012 VP113 led Sheppard and Trujillo to notice similarities of the orbits of several extremely distant solar system objects, and they proposed the presence of an unknown planet several times larger than Earth-sometimes called Planet X-orbiting the Sun, well beyond Pluto at hundreds of AU. It takes this planetoid 40,000 years to loop around the Sun once and it's one of the most inhospitable places ever discovered by humans.

When Pluto was discovered here in Arizona back in 1930, there was much excitement that this object was thought to be at the farthest edge of the solar system.

"These distant objects are like breadcrumbs leading us to Planet X. The more of them we can find, the better we can understand the outer Solar System and the possible planet that we think is shaping their orbits-a discovery that would redefine our knowledge of the Solar System's evolution", one of the researchers, Scott Sheppard, explained. Which makes this new object some two and a half times even more out of the way. It doesn't interact gravitationally with the other planets in our Solar System, but is bound to the Sun.

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"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", Carnegie Institution for Science professor Sheppard said in a statement. But first spotted close to Halloween in 2015, and typically invisible to humans on Earth except for around this time of year, The Goblin's existence, say astronomers, points to the possibility of another as-yet-unseen, Neptune-sized planet nearby, according to The Guardian. It's a member of a group called extreme trans-Neptunian objects, which means that its orbit sees it travel to incredible distances from our star and that orbit might actually be the result of The Goblin's interaction with a planet that has yet to be found. During its aphelion or furthest distance from the Sun during its revolution, it can be as far away as 2,300 AU, notes the release. "We are only seeing the tip of the iceberg", Sheppard said. "Currently we would only detect 2015 TG387 when it is near its closest approach to the sun". For some 99 percent of their orbits, they are too distant and thus too faint for us to observe them. It has an uncharacteristically elongated orbit as well, the inner planets in the Solar System have a more or less circular orbit. For scale, Pluto, which is not a planet, is about 34 AU.

Meanwhile, Sheppard and the rest of his research team will begin a new search starting next month to locate other objects in the fringes of the solar system, including Planet Nine. However, no direct evidence for it has been found so far.


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