Tags: new | dwarf | planet | rr245 | pluto

New Dwarf Planet RR245 Found Beyond Pluto Orbits Sun Every 700 Years

Image: New Dwarf Planet RR245 Found Beyond Pluto Orbits Sun Every 700 Years
Dwarf planet RR245 (OSSOS team)

By    |   Tuesday, 12 Jul 2016 03:35 PM

A new dwarf planet orbiting beyond Neptune has been discovered by a team of international astronomers.

According to a statement from the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope on Monday, the planet, currently designated as 2015 RR245, is roughly 435 miles wide and has one of the largest orbits of any dwarf planet in the solar system. The planet was found as part of the Outer Solar System Origins Survey.
 
The National Research Council of Canada's J.J. Kavelaars first spotted RR245 in February 2016 in images taken September 2015 using the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope, based in Maunakea, Hawaii.

"The icy worlds beyond Neptune trace how the giant planets formed and then moved out from the Sun," said Michele Bannister of the University of Victoria in British Columbia and a postdoctoral fellow with the survey.

"They let us piece together the history of our solar system. But almost all of these icy worlds are painfully small and faint: it's really exciting to find one that's large and bright enough that we can study it in detail," Bannister continued.

Space.com wrote that astronomers are still figuring out the details of the new dwarf planet's highly elliptical orbit.

CNN reported that upwards of 200 dwarf planets may exist in the Kuiper Belt beyond Neptune. At least five of those, including Pluto, Ceres, Haumea, Makemake, and Eris, have been identified by researchers.

Space.com states that three other far flung objects – Sedna, Quaoar, and 2007 OR10 – likely also meet the dwarf-planet criteria as well.

"Dwarf planets are massive enough to be crushed into spheres by their own gravity, but they have not 'cleared their neighborhood' of other objects, which differentiates them from 'normal' planets such as Earth and Saturn," wrote Mike Wall, senior writer for Space.com. "This definition, which was devised by the International Astronomical Union in 2006, led to Pluto's controversial reclassification as a dwarf planet."

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A new dwarf planet orbiting beyond Neptune has been discovered by a team of international astronomers.
new, dwarf, planet, rr245, pluto
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2016-35-12
Tuesday, 12 Jul 2016 03:35 PM
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