Astronomers Discover a New Dwarf Planet Beyond Neptune
An international team of astronomers has discovered a new dwarf planet orbiting in a disk of small icy worlds beyond Neptune. The new object is a little more than 400 miles wide and has one of the largest orbits recorded for a dwarf planet. The small icy planet was spotted with the large camera at the Canada-France-Hawai‘i Telescope on Mauna Kea as part of the ongoing Outer Solar System Origins Survey (OSSOS).
Scientists say the find was a technological feat, since the object was just dim enough to elude less sensitive telescopes used in previous sky surveys. Dr. Michele Bannister is a researcher with the University of Victoria. She says the discovery may contain clues to the history of our solar system.
For now, scientists are calling the planet RR245, although a more memorable name is currently in the works.