So it may come as a surprise to some that there is a potential new contender for the ninth planet, based on the discovery of another newly discovered celestial body with an amusing nickname. It is, according to a release by the researchers from the Carnegie Institution for Science, an extremely distant body that is 80 AU-Astronomical Units where 1 AU is the distance from Earth to Sun-from the Sun.
The icy world is just 186 miles across and takes 40,000 years to circle the sun.
There is still no sign of the elusive Planet X, but astronomers have stumbled across Goblin along the way.
When The Goblin was spotted, it was extremely far off from the sun, at well over twice the distance from the star as Pluto and its orbit is stretched in an oblong shape that takes it up to 2,300 times as far from the sun as Earth is. The relationship between the Goblin and Planet 9 would be similar to the relationship between Pluto and the much-larger Neptune.
As all three objects are located relatively close to one another, the suggestion is that all of them are being influenced by an enormous object, possibly the fabled Planet Nine.
An illustration of the possible planet that could be shaping the orbit of objects such as the Goblin.
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Astronomers have discovered a new object at the edge of our solar system. "Currently we would only detect 2015 TG387 when it is near its closest approach to the sun".
"These so-called Inner Oort Cloud objects like 2015 TG387, 2012 VP113, and Sedna are isolated from most of the Solar System's known mass, which makes them immensely interesting", said Scott Sheppard, from Carnegie. There are probably many more of these objects out there, but they're hard to detect due to their distance.
"We think there could be thousands of small bodies like 2015 TG387 out on the Solar System's fringes, but their distance makes finding them very hard", according to Tholen, of the University of Hawaii.
The object with the most-distant orbit at perihelion, 2012 VP113, was also discovered by Sheppard and Trujillo, who announced that find in 2014.
"We are only just now uncovering what the very outer solar system might look like and what might be out there", said Scott Sheppard of the research team.
Having noticed similarities in other orbits beyond our Solar System, the pair proposed the presence of an unknown planet several times larger than Earth-known as Planet X or Planet Nine-orbiting the Sun at hundreds of AUs. For some 99 percent of their orbits, they are too distant and thus too faint for us to observe them. But if they're not being tugged on by the planets we know about, that leaves the door open for interactions with objects we haven't yet discovered, like Planet Nine.