‘Most distant’ Solar System object spied
Photo by NASA/JPL-CALTECH/R.HURT
Astronomers have identified the most distant object yet in the Solar System, the BBC reports.
Observations with Japan’s Subaru telescope reveal the likely icy body to be some 15.5 billion km from the Sun – about three times further away than even far-flung Pluto.
Scientists say their initial studies suggest that the object – catalogued as V774104 – is some 500-1,000km across.
It will need to be tracked over time to learn the shape and extent of its orbit through the Solar System.
The discovery was announced at the 47th annual meeting of the American Astronomical Society’s Division for Planetary Sciences, taking place in National Harbor near Washington DC.
The team behind the find is led by Scott Sheppard, from the Carnegie Institution for Science, and Chad Trujillo, from the Gemini Observatory in Hawaii.