A New Dwarf Planet, 2014 UZ224, In The Solar System Discovered

First Posted: Oct 12, 2016 04:00 AM EDT

Scientists discovered a new dwarf planet known as 2014 UZ224 in the solar system. It joins with the other dwarf planets discovered on the outer edges of the solar system.

The new dwarf planet is about 330 miles wide and about 8.5 billion miles from the sun and would take 1,100 years to complete its orbit. It is the third furthest known solar system object from the sun. Currently, it is estimated 90.8 AU from the Sun. By 2142, it would be at its closest to the Sun of 38 AU.

The research was led by David Gerdes, a physics professor at the University of Michigan and other colleagues. Prof. Gerdes had helped in developing a special camera called the Dark Energy Camera that was assigned to make a map of distant galaxies by the U.S. Department of Energy.

According to NPR, Prof. Gerdes gave a project for undergraduates who are visiting him for the summer. He asked them to find some solar system objects creeping around in the galaxy map. Gerdes explained on how to find some solar system objects. He said that when you observe the objects in the solar system at one instant and then a little while later, they would appear to be in a different place in the sky.

He continued that often times they just have a single observation of the thing, on one night. They also observed two weeks later and then five nights later another observation, and four months later another observation.

The team spotted 2014 UZ224 and considered it as a dwarf planet. According to the standards set down by the International Astronomical Union (IAU), a dwarf planet is a celestial body that is in orbit around the Sun. It also has enough mass for its self-gravity to overcome rigid body forces so that it assumes a hydrostatic equilibrium shape. A dwarf planet is not a satellite and has not cleared the neighborhood around its orbit.

The IAU acknowledges five dwarf planets that include Pluto, Eris, Ceres, Makemake and Haumea. Pluto is considered the largest dwarf planet. It is about 1,475 miles (2,374 kilometers) in diameter and would take 248 Earth years to complete an orbit around the Sun.


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