FP TrendingFeb 12, 2021 10:18:28 IST
A group of astronomers have discovered the existence of a planetoid that has become the farthest away object to resides in our solar system. Named informally ‘Farfarout’, the planetoid is the most distant object ever observed. The team consisted of the scientists from the University of Hawaii, Carnegie Institution for Science and Northern Arizona University. They have been studying the outer solar system beyond Pluto for years as part of a survey and were responsible for finding the celestial object ‘Farout’ in 2018 which was the record holder for being the most distant planetoid. And now its record has been broken by Farfarout.
According to a statement released by the University of Hawaii, Farfarout was also first detected in 2018 but researchers were able to pin down its orbit and hence its distance only now. Farfarout’s current distance from the Sun is 132 astronomical units (au), where 1 au is the distance between the Earth and Sun.
It is to be mentioned here that Pluto is only 34 au away from the Sun, making Farfarout four times distant from the Sun. it was discovered at Subaru 8-meter telescope located atop Maunakea in Hawaii. As per the statement, the planetoid will be officially given a name once studies are conducted in the years to come to better understand its orbit.
As far as it is understood now, the object has a “very elongated orbit” thus taking it to 175 au when it is the farthest away. Also, the orbit goes inside the orbit of Neptune, when it is closest to the Sun. This is around 27 au away. One revolution for Farfarout will take about a thousand years.
The shape and elongation of its orbit has to deal with the forces it experiences while crossing by Neptune. Tholen said, “Because of this long orbital period, [Farfarout] moves very slowly across the sky, requiring several years of observations to precisely determine its trajectory.”
Scientists think an object is an ice-rich object and quite small in size. It is believed to one of the smaller dwarf planets with a size of 400 km across.