Scientists theorize that its orbital pattern might be connected to the White Whale of planets, the much-mythologized Planet X. The unseen Planet X would be the ninth planet in our solar system (sorry Pluto) and is thought to be three times larger than Earth. For context, Pluto is around 34 AU, so 2015 TG387 is about two and a half times further away from the Sun than Pluto is right now. Follow-up observations at the Magellan telescope at Carnegie's Las Campanas Observatory in Chile and the Discovery Channel Telescope in Arizona, were obtained in 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018, to measure 2015 TG387's orbit. Only 2012 VP113 and Sedna, at 80 and 76 AU respectively, have more distant perihelia than 2015 TG387. After that discovery they noticed similarities in the orbits of several extremely distant Solar System objects.
With Halloween less than a month away, the world of astronomy has certainly found itself dabbling in spooky topics, most notably the skull-shaped asteroid due to whizz past Earth not long after the holiday. From this point, it then goes into the outer fringes of the solar system at distances up to 60 times further than Pluto.
The names, Eris, Makemake, Sedna, Quaoar, Varuna and Haumea, are not part of most peoples' vocabulary, as these are a few of the new dwarf type planets that lie within this wonderful region in the solar system, known as the Kuiper Belt. Pluto, by comparison, is approximately between 30 and 50 AU. It takes this planetoid 40,000 years to loop around the Sun once and it's one of the most inhospitable places ever discovered by humans.
"We think there could be thousands of small bodies like 2015 TG387 out on the Solar System's fringes, but their distance makes finding them very hard", said David Tholen from University of Hawaii.
"We think there could be thousands of small bodies like 2015 TG387 out on the Solar System's fringes".
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For now, the discovery of 2015 TG387 is simply unbelievable in itself, as we search the night sky for the edge of our solar system and the incredible object which lie out in the deep dark cold of the solar system! "For some 99 per cent of its 40,000-year orbit, it would be too faint to see", he said. But if they're not being tugged on by the planets we know about, that leaves the door open for interactions with objects we haven't yet discovered, like Planet Nine.
Tholen first observed 2015 TG387 in October of 2015 at the Japanese Subaru 8-meter telescope on Maunakea.
With a diameter of just 186 miles, The Goblin is also on the small side, even for a dwarf planet.
A figure from the study shows the orbit of 2015 TG387 and other distant objects in the Solar System. However, no direct evidence for it has been found so far.