Artist concept of 2018 VG18 "Farout". Credit Roberto Molar Candanosa/Carnegie Institution for Science.

Scott Sheppard, an astronomer, has spotted what is considered to be the most distant object in our solar system. The heavenly body, that has been declared a dwarf planet, is roughly 4 times as far away from the Sun as Pluto. The discovery was announced on Monday by the International Astronomical Union’s Minor Planet Centre.


Solar System distances to scale showing the newly discovered 2018 VG18 “Farout” compared to other known Solar System objects. Credit: Roberto Molar Candanosa/Scott S. Sheppard/Carnegie Institution for Science.

By measuring how slowly the body moved around the sun, Sheppard and his colleagues were able to calculate that it is 120AU from the sun which is roughly 4 times that of Pluto (34AU). AU or Astronomical Units is the distance between the Earth and the Sun.


(Moving dot in the center is the planet)Movie using the two discovery images of 2018 VG18 “Farout”. Credit Scott S. Sheppard/David Tholen.

The body is officially named 2018VG18 and appropriately nicknamed “Farout”. Farout is 500-600 kilometers around which is big enough to be considered a dwarf planet. Sheppard and his team’s goal is to figure out the body’s exact orbit and whether the gravitation of large planets like Jupiter, Saturn, etc. effect it’s path at all. All this information will take more than a year to find out with the help of various telescopes around the world.

Leave a Reply