These discovery photos of “the Goblin” were taken 3 hours apart at the Subaru Telescope on October 13, 2015. The object is the jumping dot just above center. Scott Sheppard
Just in time for Halloween and in fact named in the spirit of the celebration, American astronomer Scott Sheppard and colleagues have discovered a new, extremely distant object well beyond Pluto they nicknamed “the Goblin.”
More formally known as 2015 TG387, the distant asteroid was discovered about 7.5 billion miles from the sun or 2.5 times farther away than Pluto. That’s deep space and yet the sun still exerts its pull at that incredible distance, keeping the icy object in orbit. And what an orbit it is.
Most of the planets revolve around the sun in nearly circular courses, but the Goblin’s path is stretched out or “elongated.” At its closest point, called perihelion, it never comes closer to the Sun than 6 billion miles. But at furthest point, called aphelion, it’s an incredible 214 billion miles away. If we wanted to beam a radio message to the Goblin at aphelion it would take more than 28 hours to get there!
The orbits of the new extreme dwarf planet, 2015 ...