Scientists Discover Solar System's Most Distant Object

© East News / Photoshot/REPORTERThis is an artist's impression of a rocky and water-rich asteroid
This is an artist's impression of a rocky and water-rich asteroid - Sputnik International
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The newly-found object, named V774101, is about 103 times farther away from the sun than our home planet and three times farther from the sun than Pluto.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Scientists have discovered the solar system’s most distant object yet, which is half the size of Pluto and over 100 times farther away from the sun than Earth, Discovery News reports, citing astronomer Scott Sheppard with the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington D.C.

"If it never gets closer to the sun than its current location, it would be classified as an Oort Cloud object as it is well beyond the Kuiper Belt. But if its orbit brings it to within 50 AU [astronomical units] of the sun at some point, it would be considered a scattered Kuiper Belt object, that is an object that likely scattered off of Neptune sometime in the distant past," Sheppard wrote in an email to Discovery News.

One astronomical unit (AU) is about 150 million kilometers, or 93 million miles, which is the distance from the sun to Earth.

The newly-found object, named V774101, is about 103 times farther away from the sun than our home planet and three times farther from the sun than Pluto.

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Pluto is part of the Kuiper Belt, but according to Sheppard, it will take scientists about one year to determine whether V774101 has an orbit that transits into the belt.

V774101 was discovered a few weeks ago during a deep-sky search for distant solar system objects. The discovery was unveiled at an American Astronomical Society’s planetary sciences meeting in Maryland, according to Discovery News.

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