Astronomers spot distant object that supports Planet Nine theory

The names, Eris, Makemake, Sedna, Quaoar, Varuna and Haumea, are not part of most peoples' vocabulary, as these are a few of the new dwarf type planets that lie within this fantastic region in the solar system, known as the Kuiper Belt.

But the really fantastic thing about the Goblin dwarf is its extremely long orbit.

When studying the orbit of The Goblin, the researchers discovered that it appears to be acted upon by an unseen object in the same area as others that have offered hints to the existence of a hidden planet.

"The more of them we can find, the better we can understand the outer solar system and the possible planet that we think is shaping their orbits - a discovery that would redefine our knowledge of the solar system's evolution", he said in a statement.

But, boasting a larger orbital semi-major axis, 2015 TG387 has the ability to travel farther away from the Sun, reaching a whopping 2,300 AU at its most extreme point.

The discovery was made by Carnegie Institution for Sciences' Scott Sheppard, Northern Arizona University's Chad Trujillo and the University of Hawaiʻi Institute for Astronomy's David Tholen. Meet the Goblin. Formerly known as 2015 TG387, the Goblin gets its name from being discovered around Halloween 2015. Simulations showed that adding a Planet X into the mix still keeps Goblin's orbit steady. For context, Pluto is around 34 AU, so 2015 TG387 is about two and a half times further away from the Sun than Pluto is right now.

2015 TG387, announced by the International Astronomical Union's Minor Planet Center, was discovered about 80 astronomical units (AU) from the sun.

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"These objects are on elongated orbits, and we can only detect them when they are closest to the sun".

As all three objects are located relatively close to one another, the suggestion is that all of them are being influenced by an enormous object, possibly the fabled Planet Nine.

AU is a measurement defined as the distance between Earth and the Sun.

"Planet X seems to affect 2015 TG387 the same way as all the other extremely distant Solar System objects".

This is a region of the distant solar system where comets are thought to be and there is even speculation that a large gas giant planet much like Jupiter may inhabit this region of space.

"We think there could be thousands of small bodies like 2015 TG387 out on the Solar System's fringes". For some 99 percent of their orbits, they are too distant and thus too faint for us to observe them. "These simulations do not prove that there's another massive planet in our Solar System, but they are further evidence that something big could be out there" Trujillo concludes. But if they're not being tugged on by the planets we know about, that leaves the door open for interactions with objects we haven't yet discovered, like Planet Nine.

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