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Astronomers have spotted a mysterious object in the outermost edges of our solar system, and according to initial reports, the astronomical object is located 140 times farther from the Sun than the Earth.
They’ve dubbed it ‘FarFarOut‘, honoring its predecessor discovered last year orbiting our sun at 120 Astronomical Units and dubbed FarOut.
It orbits the Sun at a mind-bending distance of 140 astronomical units (AU), which means its located 3.5 times farther out from the sun than Pluto.
FarFarOut was discovered by Dr. Scott Sheppard of the Carnegie Institution for Science, the man in charge in the hunt for mysterious planet X.
While Sheppard and his colleagues have still not found evidence of the existence of Planet X, they’ve discovered a plethora of other things we never thought existed in our solar system.
FarOut and (now) FarFarOut are just some examples of the result of their work.
Dr. Sheppard and his team also discovered our solar system’s latest dwarf planet: The Goblin, orbiting our sun at 65 AU. They’ve also found 12 previously unregistered moons orbiting our solar system’s largest planet, Jupiter.
As explained by Science Magazine, Dr. Sheppard Discovered FarFarOut after a speech he was supposed to give got postponed due to a snow storm.
The researcher decided to better make use of the extra time he now had, and so he started analyzing astronomical data that he and his team had gathered.
In that astronomical data, he noticed something.
It was something tiny, located 20 billion kilometers (12 billion miles) from the Sun, but it was something that he hadn’t seen before.
Eventually, at the postponed speech dubbed Beyond Pluto: The Hunt for a Massive Planet X, Dr. Sheppard announced he had discovered FarFarOut.
“This is hot off the presses,” he explained.
“Yesterday it snowed, so I had nothing to do, so I went looking through some of our old data… and I actually found this object just last night.”
The discoveries of FarOut and FarFarOut mean that there’s so much out there we don’t know about.
Our Solar System is huge, and the existence of objects like these means that we need to up our game to explore the outermost edges of our solar system.
To understand more about FarOut and Far FarOut, and whether or not such objects are influenced by a large planet like Planet X, Dr. Sheppard and his team are planning further observations in the following months.