Farout: Scientists spot solar system's farthest known object

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"When I saw the object for the first time, it was moving so slowly, it was the slowest thing I had ever seen". Or to put it in Big Lebowski terms: "It's far out, man; far f%^#ing out".

Researchers from the International Astronomical Union's Minor Planet Center at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics announced the discovery of the planet 2018 VG18 Monday, after confirming the findings of several astronomers at institutions around the country. Because of its great distance Farout might need " more than 1000 years to circle the sun once.

The findings demonstrate that even though astronomers are now routinely discovering planets orbiting different stars, there are still planet-sized unfamiliar objects in our very own Solar System.

"All that we now know about 2018 VG18 is its extreme distance from the Sun, its approximate diameter, and its colour", said the University of Hawaii's David Tholen.

The team say Farout's brightness suggests it is about 500km (310 miles) wide, and it is probably spherical.

The discovery images of 2018 VG18 were taken at the Japanese Subaru 8-meter telescope located atop Mauna Kea in Hawaii on November 10, 2018. "Farout" also has a pinkish color, which is connected to ice-rich objects. The team came across Farout as they were scanning the solar system for distant planets, including Planet X, a hypothetical planet that astronomers believe could explain the warped orbits of small objects beyond Neptune, officials said.

Scott S Sheppard of the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington DC, David Tholen of the University of Hawaii and Chad Trujillo of Northern Arizona University made the incredible discovery which they announced on the 17th December.

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An artist's conception shows the distant object known as 2018 VG18 or "Farout". "We've started searching as much sky as we can", Sheppard said.

Farout is around 120 astronomical units away from the sun, which is roughly 17,950,000,000km, so even if you were driving at 110km/h, it would still take you almost 19,000 years to get there (including breaks).

A standout amongst the most mainstream clarifications is the possible existence of a ninth planet, or Planet X. Truth be told, the space experts found Farout while hunting down the presence of a ninth planet, as per the statement. By comparison, the dwarf planet Eris, which previously held the title, is only a piffling 96 AU away from the sun.

Trujillo hailed the worldwide nature of the discovery, which involved telescopes in Hawaii and Chile owned and operated by Japan, and researchers based in the US. A new wide-angle digital cameras are on some of the world's largest telescopes.

Farout joins a number of other dwarf planets in the outer reaches of the Solar System. "Planet X is also likely even further away, at a few hundred AU".

Solar System distances to scale showing the newly discovered 2018 VG18 "Farout" compared to other known Solar System objects.

It's estimated that it takes over a thousand years for Farout to complete a single orbit, which is pretty slow.