In the race to discover a proposed ninth planet in our Solar System, Carnegie's Scott Sheppard and Chadwick Trujillo of Northern Arizona University have observed several never-before-seen objects at extreme distances from the Sun in our Solar System.
Sheppard and Trujillo have now submitted their latest discoveries to the
International Astronomical Union's Minor Planet Center for official
designations. A paper about the discoveries has also been accepted to The Astronomical Journal.
The more objects that are found at extreme distances, the better the
chance of constraining the location of the ninth planet that Sheppard
and Trujillo first predicted to exist far beyond Pluto (itself no longer
classified as a planet) in 2014.
The placement and orbits of small, so-called extreme trans-Neptunian
objects can help narrow down the size and distance from the Sun of the
predicted ninth planet, because that planet's gravity influences the
movements of the smaller objects that are far beyond Neptune. The
objects are called trans-Neptunian because their orbits around the Sun
are greater than Neptune's.
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