Scientists find solar system's farthest known object, name it Farout
Farout is the most distant known object in the solar system. (Roberto Molar Candanosa/Scott S. Sheppard/Carnegie Institution for Science)
Marcia Dunn, The Associated Press
Published Monday, December 17, 2018 2:34PM EST
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- 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" (pronounced far-out) 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.
The Carnegie Institution's Scott Sheppard says 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.
The astronomers spied the dwarf planet in November using a telescope in Hawaii.
It's an estimated 500 kilometres across.