Astronomers have discovered a new, frozen pink tinted world at the edge at of the solar system and are over seven billion miles away the sun. It is only the second such planet that has been discovered in an area of space out from Pluto long considered a cosmic wasteland. Up until now, the only known dweller in this part of the solar system was a dwarf planet which had been found back in 2003 and was given the name Sedna after the mythological goddess who formed the sea creatures that dwelled in the Arctic.
This latest find has shown that Sedna is not one of a kind. Astrophysicists can now have the confidence that there is a whole new region to explore. It had been for many years that astronomers had looked in vain for signs of any other Sednas in the little studied borders of edges of the solar system. However, this new planet, right now being called, 2012 VP113, was found by using a new type of camera that was placed on a ground telescope located in the country in Chile by Scott Sheppard, who worked for the Carnegie Institution in Washington, D.C.
Similar to Sedna, VP113 is also a dwarf planet. It has been nicknamed “Biden” in a humorous way after Vice President Joe Biden due to the VP initials. It is believed to measure around 285 miles across, or around half the distance of Sedna. It is also frigid in temperature with the average being about minus 435 degrees Fahrenheit. But different to shiny, red Sedna, the newfound planet is much more pinkish in color and is more faint, which has made it extremely hard to find.
VP and Sedna exist in in what is known as the inner part of the Oort cloud in the very outer part of the solar system. This is from where many comets are believed to come from. When Sedna was found so far away, it seemed like a total fluke. But finding VP is starting to make it appear like that just might be a normal place for planets to be.
It is now being estimated by astronomers that there could be thousands of comparable objects inside the Oort cloud. One astrophysicist declared that the objects were not exclusive. There was probably a large number out there but not all were visible to telescopes because they are just so far away and it takes a very long time for them to go by the sun. VP and Sedna were noticed when they were at their nearest approach by the sun, which let sunlight to strike both of them and then spring back to the Earth for observation.
Now that it has been discovered that Sedna has some company, and most likely lots more, astronomers will be on the look-out for more in an attempt to learn how they and the solar system were both created and then progressed. Astronomers feel the discovery of the frozen pink tinted world at the edge at of the solar system called VP is amazing. It is the second such planet that has been discovered in an area of space out from Pluto in a region long thought a cosmic wasteland. Up until this time, the only other known dweller in this part of the solar system was a dwarf planet which had been found back in 2003 and was given the name Sedna after the mythological goddess who formed the sea creatures that dwelled in the Arctic.
By Kimberly Ruble
The Washington Post