In 2018, FarFarOut, the most distant object in the solar system, was discovered. Recently, researchers have found the orbit of this planetoid as well. FarFarOut is four more times away from the Sun than Pluto. It replaced FarOut which is 120 AU (astronomical unit) away from the sun, to become the most distant space object.
The distance between the sun and FarFarOut is 132 AU. In order to understand how far FarFarOut is in the solar system, we have to look at the distance between Earth and Pluto, which comes last in the sequence of planets. The distance between the two is 34 AU, while FarFarOut is 132 AU away from the sun.
As reported by CNN, its discovery happened at the Carnegie Institution for Science by staff scientist Scott Sheppard while he was going through the data collected by his team. Other members of his team are Northern Arizona University’s Chad Trujillo andDavid Tholen from University of Hawaiʻi.
The name FarFarOut was given to the planet because the previous farthest known space object was called FarOut, which was also discovered by the same team of researchers.As estimated by the team of researchers, the size of the planet is 400 kilometres. They based it on the brightness and distance of the planet from the sun and have assumed that it is an ice-rich object.
FarFarOut takes about a thousand years to revolve around the sun, unlike the planet Earth which takes one year (365.24 days) to complete one revolution.
Researchers have discovered that the orbit of the farthest object is very elongated. This is why at its closest, it is 27 AU away from the sun and at its farthest, it is 175 AU away from the star, which is at the centre of the solar system.
Its orbit gets inside the orbit of Neptune and the two are expected to interact in future, as mentioned in a research article available at the website of University of Hawaiʻi. According to Chad, the orbital dynamics of FarFarOut can also help in creating an understanding about the formation and evolution of Neptune.