washington - At the edge of our solar system, far beyond all planets, there is a mysterious object. It is a small boulder that takes 44,000 years to orbit around our sun.
The object has been given the scientific name 2015 TG387. He is about 300 kilometers in diameter. He may be a dwarf planet, just like Pluto. The discovery was announced on Tuesday by the International Astronomical Union, the scientific organization that deals with research into the universe.
2015 TG387 runs in an oval orbit around the sun. When he was discovered, the distance to the sun was eighty times as great as the distance from the earth to the sun. If it is closest to the sun, it is still 65 times the distance of sun-earth, twice as far away as Pluto. And at the farthest point the distance to the sun is 2300 times the distance from the earth to the sun.
There may be thousands of such objects in the neighborhood, but they are very difficult to find because of the enormous distance. So far only a few have been found. 'We could only discover 2015 TG387 when it came closest to the sun. During 99 percent of his tour, he was too vague to see ', says researcher David Tholen.
The discoverers think that there may be a ninth, as yet undiscovered planet in that corner of the solar system. Rock blocks like 2015 TG387 are, according to them, 'breadcrumbs' that can lead to that 'Planet X'. The gravity of that planet can influence the course of the rocks. When they know the orbits of the dwarf planets, they can calculate where that gravity comes from and where the mysterious planet is located.