New Distant Dwarf Planet Discovered Beyond Neptune

Posted: Jul 12 2016, 7:16am CDT | by , in News | Latest Science News

New Distant Dwarf Planet Discovered Beyond Neptune
Rendering of the orbit of RR245 (orange line). Objects as bright or brighter than RR245 are labeled. The Minor Planet Center describes the object as the 18th largest in the Kuiper Belt. Credit: Alex Parker OSSOS team.
  • Novel Dwarf Planet discovered in the Kuiper Belt

A novel dwarf planet, 700 kilometers in size and has one of the largest orbits for a dwarf planet, has been discovered in the Kuiper Belt.

A new planet has been found in the Kuiper Belt and it happens to be a dwarf. The Kuiper Belt consists of a big cluster of icy heavenly bodies present at the edge of the solar system.

Termed 2015 RR245, the new dwarf planet was pinpointed by astronomers in February, 2016. These astronomers were searching for worlds beyond Neptune when they happened to chance upon this small heavenly body.

The experts are divided over exactly how big 2015 RR245 is in its dimensions. It is said to be about 435 miles in diameter. This would automatically make it the 18th largest object in the Kuiper Belt.

The surface features of the planet are not easily discernible. They are either resplendent and make it look tiny or they are drab and make it look huge. Therein lies the contradiction.

The way this planet orbits around the Kuiper Belt is pretty wide-ranging in its context. The time period is 700 years. At its closest to the sun, it comes within 34 AU (astronomical units) of our star.

That is 34 times the distance between the earth and the sun. At its furthest distance, 2015 RR245 reaches 120 AU from the sun. That is three times the distance between Pluto and the sun. In the year 2096, 2015 RR245 will reach its closest to the sun.

Hundreds of objects have been found up until now in the Kuiper Belt. Some of them are so small that they can hardly be classified as planets. Till the present times, only five dwarf planets have been found in the Kuiper Belt.

They include: Ceres, Pluto, Haumea, Makemake and Eris. This planet termed 2015 RR245 is 5% the width of the earth. The Kuiper Belt contains frozen rocks, comets and other odds and ends of debris.

Also there is plenty of flotsam and jetsam left behind from the universal forces that were active a long time ago. It is a cluster of many remnants from the time when the solar system was still in its infancy.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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