Now, this is intriguing: The first thing that popped into my mind when I learned of the discovery of a new space object in the outer limits of the solar system, officially named V774104, was that it fit nicely into the speculations about a possible larger planet orbiting the sun somewhere out there. Then I started reading what different scientific publications were saying about this recent discovery, and this is where it got really interesting…
V774104 was just spotted this past October during a deep sky survey conducted with the Subaru telescope in Hawaii and the Dark Energy Survey Camera in Chile. The discovery was announced on November 10 by Scott Sheppard of the Carnegie Institute of Washington, at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society’s Division for Planetary Sciences, held in National Harbor, Maryland.
Scientists who made the discovery indicate that this rocky world is located in the inner Oort cloud, which marks the hypothetical edge of the solar system and the end of the Sun’s gravitational influence.
More than 3 times distant than Pluto, V774104 is “the most distant object ever [discovered] in our solar system”, writes Eric Hand in Science Magazine. With an estimated diameter of 500 to 1000 km, it currently sits 15.4 billion kilometers from the sun, or 103 astronomical units (AU) away. An AU is the distance between Earth and the sun, which means V774104 is more than 100 times further away from the sun than Earth is.
V774104 could point to other rogue planets
The discovery of this new object is bound to add fuel to enduring speculation about the existence of a large planet, frequently referred to as Planet X, Niburu and several other names, believed to follow an eccentric orbit about the Sun.
Actually, V774104 “could end up joining an emerging class of extreme solar system objects whose strange orbits point to the hypothetical influence of rogue planets or nearby stars“, Eric Hand writes (italics are mine). This is quite an amazing statement, as this is exactly what the proponents of Planet X have been claiming all along…
Proponents of a mysterious Planet X have also long argued that its orbit cannot be determined using traditional solar orbital dynamics. Interestingly, Michael Brown has admitted that V774104 joins two other recently discovered objects, Sedna (discovered in 2003) and VP113 (discovered in 2012), the other only known objects in the solar system whose orbits cannot be explained with our current understanding. They are far enough away from the giant planets to avoid gravitational tweaks to their orbits, and close enough to the sun that they don’t respond to other passing stars, Brown explained.
“Their eccentric orbits cannot be explained by the known structure of the solar system: Something else had to perturb their orbits”, Eric Hand writes. “Possible explanations include an unseen giant planet that still orbits in the deep or one that was ejected from the solar system, disturbing inner Oort cloud objects on its way out.”
“We can’t explain these objects’ orbits from what we know about the solar system,” Scott Sheppard insists. One explanation for the strange orbits is the pull of a massive but very dark rocky planet. “Something might be shepherding the objects,” Sheppard says.
Things are getting really interesting, and more shall be revealed I expect…
Henri Thibodeau Updated December 16, 2015
Reference & source material
- Most distant solar system object yet could hint at hidden planet | By Joshua Sokol | New Scientist, November 10, 2015
- Astronomers spot most distant object in the solar system, could point to other rogue planets | By Eric Hand | Science Magazine, November 10, 2015
- Newly Discovered Object Revives Speculation of Planet X | By John Wenz | Popular Mechanics, November 10, 2015
- The Niburu Planet X System and Its Potential Impacts on Our Solar System | Joachim Hagopian | Global Research | September 6, 2015
- Two giant planets may cruise unseen beyond Pluto | By Nicola Jenner | New Scientist, June 11, 2014
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