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Space & Astronomy

New dwarf planet found beyond orbit of Pluto

By T.K. Randall
October 13, 2016 · Comment icon 24 comments

What else lies undiscovered in the outer solar system ? Image Credit: CC BY 4.0 ESO/L. Calcada
This tiny, distant world is believed to take up to 1,140 years to complete a single orbit of the Sun.
Known as 2014 UZ224, the object was picked up by the Dark Energy Camera (DEC) in Chile which takes photographs of the sky at regular intervals as part of the Dark Energy Survey (DES) - an ongoing project which aims to probe the dynamics of the expansion of the universe.

At a mere 330 miles across, the new dwarf planet is a lot smaller than Pluto and is situated far out from the Sun at a distance of 8.5 billion miles, making it the third most distant object in the solar system behind Eris, which is larger than Pluto, and V774104, an object discovered in 2015.

Source: | Comments (24)

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Comment icon #15 Posted by keithisco 8 years ago
Firstly; yes there are features of interplanetary space that do indeed induce drag, albeit infinitesimally, but drag nonetheless. Every time that the Earth crosses the debris cone of a comet (leading to meteor showers) there is drag induced on the planet. In fact anything that in any way impedes an orbit (and it really does not matter how small that effect is) is drag. There is also Gravitational drag which is clearly apparent because objects are forced into an orbit instead of maintaining what would otherwise be a rectilinear trajectory. As for the corrected definition from the IAU (Internat... [More]
Comment icon #16 Posted by Codenwarra 8 years ago
" You know they would have to go extra fast on one side to get around the sun as its speeding right?"  No Ride in a car at 60 miles per hour.  Move your hand forward to change the station on the radio at 2 miles per hour, compared to you.  To someone outside, your head is doing 60 mph, your hand is doing 62.  Now move your hand back.  To the person outside it is doing 58, but compared to you it's still only 2 mph. The planets are "in the same car" as the Sun. So they don't have to seep up to keep up with the Sun.    Elliptical orbits in Mercury to Neptune and maybe Pluto are not due... [More]
Comment icon #17 Posted by Thorvir Hrothgaard 8 years ago
So, we're back to aether, right? /jk  
Comment icon #18 Posted by Parsec 8 years ago
You do realise that you just said the ruler of the underworld is fat and the goddess of strife and discord is stupid?  That's not wise. At all.
Comment icon #19 Posted by JesseCuster 8 years ago
Imagine you're on a speeding train travelling at 100mph.  You have an empty spacious carriage with 2 people in it.  One person stands still in the middle of the carriage while you run in circles around them. Do you "have to go extra fast on one side" to get around them as they're speeding?  Nope, because they're speeding relative to what's outside the train, they're not speeding relative to you.  You can run in circles around them the same way you would if you were both in the train station car park. Similarly, the sun isn't moving relative to the planets, the planets and sun are travelli... [More]
Comment icon #20 Posted by Nnicolette 8 years ago
Thank you but it still doesnt make sense to me.  On the train we are riding inside the car and the air is travelling too. In space we are not inside the sun but travelling around it, so even though theres not a lot of air out there i still dont see why we are not trailing. If the sun is moving through space its still moving whether or not you say its in relation to the planets, if its moving its moving and they must be keeping up. Are you saying its because we're encased in the suns heliospere?
Comment icon #21 Posted by Nnicolette 8 years ago
Thats funny because you didnt explain anything at all you just got rude and snippy about it as usual. The other answers were appreciated and eloquently put, however... The analogy used was nice but it isnt quite the same. Passengers riding inside a train full of air of course travel with the train thats obvious. Try explaining how they can run in circles around the train as it speeds, that would be a little more congruent. We are not riding in an enclosed pocket of air unless what you are trying to say is that what the heliosphere is, but then again you didnt say anything like that its just wh... [More]
Comment icon #22 Posted by JesseCuster 8 years ago
There isn't "not a lot of air" in space.  There's no air in space.   You originally asked about drag.  Drag is caused by movement through a fluid (liquid or gas).  Space is a vacuum so there's nothing to cause drag.  The sun's heliosphere has nothing to do with the situation.  If it helps, imagine there's a vacuum inside and outside the train and thus air is removed from the situation. You say that "if its moving its moving and they must be keeping up" referring to the planets.  Well, if the train is moving then the train is moving, and a passenger inside the train must be keeping up, r... [More]
Comment icon #23 Posted by JesseCuster 8 years ago
The "circling" of the sun has nothing to do with the situation.  I'm not sure whether you mean the rotation of the sun or its orbit around the galaxy.  Either way has no bearing on the matter.   Saying that it really does make a difference is like saying that it makes a difference as to which direction the train is travelling so you can figure out how to walk from one end of the carriage to the other.  It doesn't.
Comment icon #24 Posted by DieChecker 8 years ago
I think it is a issue of inertia. The planets will follow along with the Sun, because there is almost zero resistance. If the Sun was for some reason to accelerate, then you'd see some changes to the orbits of the planets. Such acceleration might come due to reactions with other nearby stars, but the affect of those far off stars is so small it may not even be measurable in practical terms.

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