Space & Astronomy
New dwarf planet discovered beyond Neptune
By T.K. Randall
July 12, 2016 · 5 comments
The new dwarf planet is only around half the size of the UK. Image Credit: CC BY 4.0 ESO/L. Calcada
Astronomers have identified a previously unknown dwarf planet in the outer reaches of the solar system.
One of the most remote dwarf planets ever discovered, this tiny, distant world, which has been designated 2015 RR245, is situated over nine billion kilometers from the Earth.
It was first picked up back in September 2015 when astronomers noticed an unknown bright spot moving across the sky in images taken by a telescope on Mauna Kea in Hawaii.
"It was really remarkable to see how bright this object was," said astronomer Michele Bannister from the University of Victoria. "Itís far brighter than the objects we normally find."
As for finding a proper name for this new world - the International Astronomical Union (IAU) will generally only assign one once the planet has been observed for several years.
Scientists will then have the opportunity to propose their own suggestions on what to call it.
"As long as the proposal is reasonable and a bit mythological, itís generally fine," said Bannister.
Source: The Guardian
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