New dwarf planet 'Goblin' discovered: All you need to know

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Goblin was first spotted by astronomers in 2015 around Halloween (Representational Image)
Goblin was first spotted by astronomers in 2015 around Halloween (Representational Image)

New Delhi : While there are eight planets in our solar system, scientists have discovered the brand new dwarf planet well beyond Pluto. The new planet has been spotted at the fringes of our solar system and scientists have nicknamed it as 'Goblin'.

Record says that Goblin was first spotted by astronomers in 2015 around Halloween. Its a round, frozen world just 186 miles (300 kilometres) across Pluto. However, the discovery was not publicised at that time, until a better observation was done with the help of ground telescopes on October 2.

Scott Sheppard, an astronomer of the Carnegie Institution for Science made the discovery.  It is officially known as 2015 TG387 by the International Astronomical Union’s Minor Planet Center. 

Experts say that Goblin is the third dwarf planet recently found to be orbiting on the frigid fringes of our solar system. The two other dwarf planets are Sedna, discovered in 2003, which is about 620 miles (1,000 kilometres) across, and 2012 VP113, about 310 miles (500 kilometres).

About Goblin planet

The orbit of Goblin is extremely elongated and the planet takes around 40,000 years to complete a single circle around the Sun. It is 2,300 times farther from the sun than Earth. That’s 2,300 astronomical units or AU. One AU is the distance from Earth to the sun, or roughly 93 million miles (150 million kilometres).

Scientists first spotted the Goblin in October 2015 when it was relatively nearby around 80 AU.

"These objects are on elongated orbits, and we can only detect them when they are closest to the Sun. For some 99 percent of their orbits, they are too distant and thus too faint for us to observe them. We are only seeing the tip of the iceberg,” Sheppard said in an email.

Sheppard said the faraway objects are “like breadcrumbs leading us to Planet X.”

“The more of them we can find, the better we can understand the outer solar system and the possible planet that we think is shaping their orbits — a discovery that would redefine our knowledge of the solar system’s evolution,” he said in a statement.