A team of astronomers has discovered the farthest object within the solar system. It is a dwarf planet that is the first one that has been observed more than 100 times the distance between the Sun and the Earth. If the average separation between these two bodies is 150 million kilometers – an astronomical unit – the new object is 120 times farther away, some 18,000,000,000 kilometers. Until now, the most distant object known was Eris, at 96 astronomical units, much more distant than Pluto, at 39.5.
The Center for Minor Planets of the International Astronomical Union today announced the existence of this body. Its official name is difficult to remember -2018 VG18- but its discoverers nicknamed it Farout, which in English means both distant and eccentric, two hallmarks of this object in the confines of the solar system. On November 10, the Japanese Subaru telescope on the top of the Hawaiian volcano Mauna Kea captured the first image of the dwarf planet. The observation was confirmed by another telescope at the Las Campanas Observatory in Chile, this same month.
The new planet takes more than 1,000 years to make a return to the Sun. By its brightness they calculate that it is about 500 kilometers in diameter and a pink color that usually betrays the presence of a large amount of ice.