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Mystery object 'Niku' is traveling backwards

Posted on Saturday, 13 August, 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.

"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."

Source: News.com.au | Comments (39)

Tags: Niku, Neptune

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #30 Posted by MissJatti on 28 August, 2016, 7:07
Does the time go backwards on this planet?
Comment icon #31 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 28 August, 2016, 7:55
Is that a serious question?
Comment icon #32 Posted by Habitat on 28 August, 2016, 9:11
You'd hope not !
Comment icon #33 Posted by BeastieRunner on 29 August, 2016, 18:41
Could IBEX sneak a peak at it?
Comment icon #34 Posted by danielost on 30 August, 2016, 23:41
if it stops moving it will lose its orbit.
Comment icon #35 Posted by Zalmoxis on 31 August, 2016, 17:48
Then what happens? Won't gravity pick it up and push it along?
Comment icon #36 Posted by danielost on 31 August, 2016, 17:57
yes, but it will fall toward the sun first.
Comment icon #37 Posted by Zalmoxis on 31 August, 2016, 18:03
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 on 31 August, 2016, 20:57
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 on 31 August, 2016, 22:28
Hey waspie. You missed an 'n' off of known?

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