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‘Farfarout’ confirmed to be really, seriously far out

12 Feb 2021, 15:41 UTC
‘Farfarout’ confirmed to be really, seriously far out
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A graphic representation of the scale of the solar system shows Earth’s position, 93 million miles from the Sun, or one astronomical unit, at the extreme left. A body nicknamed Farfarout is at the far right end of the scale, currently 132 times farther from Sun than Earth. Pluto is just to the left of the 40 AU marker. Image: Roberto Molar Candanosa, Scott S. Sheppard from Carnegie Institution for Science, and Brooks Bays from University of Hawaiʻi.
Extended tracking has allowed astronomers to pin down the orbit of a presumed dwarf planet in the extreme outer solar system that takes a thousand years to complete one trip around the Sun. Knicknamed Farfarout, the frigid body is the most distant solar system object yet detected, eclipsing the previous record holder, Farout.
Listed as 2018 AG37 by the Minor Planet Center, Farfarout is currently 132 times farther from the Sun than Earth (132 astronomical units, or AU) and nearly four times more distant than Pluto. Its highly elongated trajectory carries it inside the orbit of Neptune and as far as 175 AU from the Sun. Analysis indicates the object is about 250 miles across, putting in on the low end of ...

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