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Astronomers have discovered the most distant planet in the solar system. The new object, nicknamed “Farout,” was announced by the International Astronomical Union’s Minor Planet Center and has been tentatively designated 2018 VG18.

The most distant planet in the solar system

It is approximately 120 astronomical units (AU), where 1 AU is defined as the distance between the Earth and the Sun, and was the first known solar system object detected at a distance more than 100 times farther from the Earth than from the Sun.

The new object, nicknamed “Farout,” was announced by the International Astronomical Union’s Minor Planet Center and has been tentatively designated 2018 VG18. Its brightness suggests it is about 500 kilometers in diameter, possibly giving it a spherical shape and forming a dwarf planet. It has a pinkish hue and is often associated with ice-rich objects.

“All we currently know about 2018 VG18 is its extreme distance from the sun, its approximate diameter and its color,” said David Tholen of the University of Hawaii.

Its brightness suggests it is about 310 miles in diameter, potentially making it both a spherical and a dwarf planet.

It has a pinkish hue, which is usually associated with ice-rich objects, the researchers said.

“Because 2018 VG18 is so far away, it moves very slowly and may take more than 1,000 years to orbit the sun.”

The orbital similarities shown by many known distant solar system objects were the catalyst for our initial assertion that there were hundreds of distant giant planets orbiting these smaller objects.

2018 VG18 made its second appearance in early December at the Magellan Telescope at Carnegie’s Las Campanas Observatory in Chile.

These recovery observations were conducted by the team, joined by graduate student Will Oldroyd of Northern Arizona University.

Over the next week, they used the Magellan Telescope to monitor 2018 VG18 to ensure its path across the sky and obtain its basic physical properties, such as brightness and color.

Magellan’s observations confirmed that 2018’s VG18 was approximately 120 AU, making it the first solar system object to exceed 100 AU.

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