Astronomers Discover Dwarf Planet Beyond Neptune


Reports have it that an international team of astronomers have discovered a new distant dwarf planet.

The astronomers found the new dwarf planet orbiting in the disk of small icy worlds beyond Neptune.

It is about 700 kilometers in size and has one of the largest orbits for a dwarf planet. And, was found using the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope on Maunakea, Hawaii, as part of the ongoing Outer Solar System Origins Survey (OSSOS).

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A postdoctoral fellow with the survey, Dr Michele Bannister of the University of Victoria in British Columbia said: “the icy worlds beyond Neptune trace how the giant planets formed and then moved out from the Sun.

They let us piece together the history of our Solar System. But almost all of these icy worlds are painfully small and faint: it’s really exciting to find one that’s large and bright enough that we can study it in detail.”

RR245 was first sighted in February 2016 in the OSSOS images from September 2015.  The size is not yet exactly known because its surface properties need further measurement.

Dr Bannister nonetheless opined that “it’s either small and shiny, or large and dull.”

A statement from Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CHF) related that “the vast majority of the dwarf planets like RR245 were destroyed or thrown from the Solar System in the chaos that ensued as the giant planets moved out to their present positions.

RR245 is one of the few dwarf planets that has survived to the present day — along with Pluto and Eris, the largest known dwarf planets. RR245 now circles the Sun among the remnant population of tens of thousands of much smaller trans-Neptunian worlds, most of which orbit’s is unseen.”

It divulged that previous surveys have mapped almost all the brighter dwarf planets.

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“2015 RR245 may be one of the last large worlds beyond Neptune to be found until larger telescopes, such as LSST, come online in the mid 2020s,” CHF added.