The faraway dwarf planet, nicknamed The Goblin, was spotted by astronomers on the lookout for a hypothetical massive planet, known as Planet Nine, which orbit is believed to be in a mysterious region known as the Oort Cloud, in the outer reaches of the solar system, The Guardian wrote.
Even though astronomers are yet to get a “visual” of Planet Nine, all signs indicate that The Goblin may be under the gravitational influence of a giant unseen object, adding to astronomers’ certainty that Planet Nine is indeed somewhere out there.
Then it zooms off to the outermost fringes of the solar system, to almost 60 times further out than Pluto, taking an astounding 40,000 years to make a single loop around the sun. For 99 percent of its orbit, it would be too faint to see, the newspaper wrote.
Konstantin Batygin, assistant professor of planetary science at Caltech, described the latest observations as a “great discovery indeed.”
“Despite centuries of surveys, our understanding of the solar system remains incomplete,” he said. “This certainly adds to the growing ledger of … objects that show Planet Nine’s influence,” he said.
The Goblin was discovered using the Japanese Subaru 8-meter (26-foot) telescope perched on top of the dormant Mauna Kea volcano in Hawaii.