Scientists have identified a new dwarf planet in the distant reaches of our Solar System. No, it isn’t Niburu.
Called 2012 VP113, it is about 450km across and is very likely icy in composition.
To date, Sedna is the only one other such object has been seen orbiting beyond the major planets in its region of space referred to as the inner Oort Cloud.
But researchers believe there are hundreds more such objects awaiting detection.
The observations of 2012 VP113 are reported in the journal Nature, and show that it has an orbit about 12 billion kilometres from the Sun at perihelion, and 67 billion km at apogee. With that orbit 2012 VP113 takes 4,000 years to go around the Sun.
This and many other objects will be found in the Oort Cloud as technology progresses, but for now that region is very difficult to study.
Next year will be our first up close study of the Kuiper belt as New Horizons speeds by Pluto, yes, the planet Pluto.
– Ex astris, scientia –
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