Space & Astronomy
Mystery object 'Niku' is traveling backwards
August 13, 2016 | 39 comments
The peculiar new object is located beyond the orbit of Neptune. (pictured) Image Credit: NASA/JPL
A strange object spotted beyond the orbit of Neptune appears to be going around the sun in reverse.
Discovered by the Pan-STARRS telescope in Hawaii, the mysterious object, which measures only around 200km across, has been named 'Niku' which means 'rebellious' in Chinese.
The fact that it seems to be traveling in the complete opposite direction to the rest of the planets in the solar system has left astronomers scratching their heads.
"Itís wonderful that itís so confusing," said Queens University astronomer Michele Bannister. "Iím looking forward to seeing what the theoretical analysts do once they get their hands on this one."
It has been suggested that the existence of the theoretical Planet Nine in the outer solar system may be responsible for sending Niku off on such a strange trajectory, however scientists have pointed out that the new object is too close to the other planets for this to be a likely scenario.
"It suggests that thereís more going on in the outer solar system than weíre fully aware of," said astrophysicist Matthew Holman. "We donít know the answer."
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