A new dwarf planet called “The Goblin” has been discovered at the edge of our solar system. The world’s strange orbital properties provide new evidence for the massive, undiscovered planet that astronomers call “Planet Nine.”

Dwarf planet 2015 TG387, Dwarf planet 2015 TG387 discovered edge of solar system, dwarf planet solar system planet nine
Dwarf planet 2015 TG387’s orbit (above) and its extreme distance from the sun (below). (Roberto Molar Candanosa and Scott Sheppard/Carnegie Institution for Science)

A previously unknown dwarf planet circles through the far reaches of our solar system, the International Astronomical Union’s Minor Planet Center announced Tuesday. Officially designated 2015 TG387, the small and spherical object is probably a ball of ice.

The Goblin is about 300 kilometers in diameter, on the small end of a dwarf planet.

The new dwarf planet is so very interesting since it always stays well beyond the giant planet region. Pluto sits at an average of 40 AU from the sun. The Goblin comes no closer than 65 AU.

The Goblin’s orbit is very skewed. Only a few known objects in our solar system have comparable orbits, such as dwarf planets 2012 VP113 (nickname: Biden) and Sedna. A large and unknown planet, called Planet Nine or Planet X, lurking at the dark edge of the solar system could be “shepherding” these dwarf planets, directing them like a cosmic border collie around the solar system’s fringe.

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Astronomy – Introducing ‘The Goblin’: A new, distant dwarf planet bolsters evidence for Planet X
Washington Post – New dwarf planet spotted at the very fringe of our solar system

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