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NASA Reveals: Massive Object 'Lurking on Edge of Solar System

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Scientists using ground based observatories have discovered a dwarf planet that is believed to have the most distant orbit found beyond the known edge of our solar system. Named 2012 VP113 "The discovery of 2012 VP113 shows us that the outer reaches of our solar system are not an empty wasteland as once was thought," said Trujillo, lead author and astronomer. "Instead, this is just the tip of the iceberg telling us that there are many inner Oort Cloud bodies awaiting discovery. It also illustrates how little we know about the most distant parts of our solar system and how much there is left to explore." Our known solar system consists of the rocky planets like Earth, which are close to the sun; the gas giant planets, which are further out; and the frozen objects of the Kuiper belt, which lie just beyond Neptune's orbit. Beyond this, there appears to be an edge to the solar system where only one object somewhat smaller than Pluto, Sedna, was previously known to inhabit for its entire orbit. But the newly found 2012 VP113 has an orbit that stays even beyond Sedna, making it the furthest known in the solar system. Sheppard and Trujillo determine that about 900 objects with orbits like Sedna and 2012 VP113 with sizes larger than 621 miles (1000 km) may exist. 2012 VP113 is likely one of hundreds of thousands of distant objects that inhabit the region in our solar system scientists refer to as the inner Oort cloud. The total population of the inner Oort cloud is likely bigger than that of the Kuiper Belt and main asteroid belt. "Some of these inner Oort cloud objects could rival the size of Mars or even Earth," said Sheppard. This is because many of the inner Oort cloud objects are so distant that even very large ones would be too faint to detect with current technology." Both Sedna and 2012 VP113 were found near their closest approach to the sun, but they both have orbits that go out to hundreds of AU, at which point they would be too faint to discover. The similarity in the orbits found for Sedna, 2012 VP113 and a few other objects near the edge of the Kuiper Belt suggests the new object's orbit might be influenced by the potential presence of a yet unseen planet perhaps up to 10 times the size of Earth. 2012 VP113 - The time of one revolution around the Sun is 4590 years Read more here: http://www.nasa.gov/content/nasa-supported-research-helps-redefine-solar... http://home.dtm.ciw.edu/users/sheppard/inner_oort_cloud/ http://home.dtm.ciw.edu/users/sheppard/inner_oort_cloud/sednoids.html Credit: NASA http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2014/03/26/rogue-planet-solar-system/... Credit: USA TODAY Music credit: Mark Fowler youtube channel - Arrival to Earth https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xx86Y0cTrzc

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