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Oort Cloud Holds Most Distant World Yet Discovered in Our Solar System

First Posted: Nov 12, 2015 10:15 AM EST
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Astronomers have spotted the most distant object yet in our solar system. With the help of the Subaru telescope in Hawaii, they've seen a frigid world that is located 103 times further from the sun than the Earth.

The new object is actually located inside the Oort Cloud, and one the edge of the Kuiper Belt, which is where you can find the dwarf planet Eris and also Pluto. Objects in this primordial region of our solar system travel in orbits that have remained undisturbed for billions of years.

With that said, astronomers have only just spotted the object. They have not tracked it long enough to know its full path. In fact, there's a chance it will travel much closer to the sun than its current distance of 103 astronomical units.

With that said, the discovery still gives a rare glimpse into the fringes of the solar system. This is just the third "world" found in the inner Oort cloud. The other two are known as Sedna and another popularly nicknamed Biden. These objects are too far away from Neptune to have been influenced by its pull. Instead, their orbits probably reflect the primordial conditions of the solar system.

By studying this object, the researchers may learn a bit more about our early solar system. In addition, they may better understand the conditions in which our solar system actually formed, and possibly a bit more about the evolution of the planets therein.

The findings are published in the journal Nature.

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