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Space & Astronomy

Mystery object 'Niku' is traveling backwards

By T.K. Randall
August 13, 2016 · Comment icon 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.
"It's wonderful that it's so confusing," said Queens University astronomer Michele Bannister. "I'm 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 there's more going on in the outer solar system than we're fully aware of," said astrophysicist Matthew Holman. "We don't know the answer."

Source: | Comments (39)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #30 Posted by MissJatti 8 years ago
Does the time go backwards on this planet?
Comment icon #31 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 8 years ago
Is that a serious question?
Comment icon #32 Posted by Habitat 8 years ago
You'd hope not !
Comment icon #33 Posted by BeastieRunner 8 years ago
Could IBEX sneak a peak at it?
Comment icon #34 Posted by danielost 8 years ago
if it stops moving it will lose its orbit.
Comment icon #35 Posted by Zalmoxis 8 years ago
Then what happens? Won't gravity pick it up and push it along?
Comment icon #36 Posted by danielost 8 years ago
yes, but it will fall toward the sun first.
Comment icon #37 Posted by Zalmoxis 8 years ago
Then it won't quit moving it will curve towards the sun as it gets slower then *splash!* right into the lava. Something like that.
Comment icon #38 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 8 years ago
It was you that claimed it WOULD stop moving. Firstly an object in orbit will remain in that orbit unless an outside force acts on it, It will not simply slow down or stop. Without interactions with other objects, such as planets it will not slow down, " eventually reach a motionless state then reverse into the correct direction" it as you claimed.
Comment icon #39 Posted by SNR 8 years ago
Hey waspie. You missed an 'n' off of known?

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