back to article Newly spotted distant dwarf planet orbits the Sun every 700 years

Astroboffins are excited about a newly-discovered dwarf planet, despite not knowing what it looks like. The discovery of 2015 RR245 comes from the Outer Solar System Origins Survey (OSSOS), which back in March spotted alignments in Kuiper Belt Objects that fuelled the controversial “planet X” theory. The new object has so …

  1. lawndart

    A name

    As planet names are taken from mythology and are getting increasingly obscure the more lumps of rock we find out there, how about recent or alternative mythology?

    I propose Nuggan as the name of the new world.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A name

      Sounds suspiciously racist in these sensitive times.

      Planet BREXIT would be more politically charged.

      1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

        Re: A name

        Planet BREXIT would be more politically charged.

        They could call it Corbyn. It pops in for a brief flypast, then zooms off into the wilderness again.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: A name

        That's for the lone planet orbiting no star.

    2. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

      Re: A name

      recent or alternative mythology

      Is Lord Xenu taken?

      1. Brian Miller

        Re: A name

        Who needs mythology when we have so many good open source names? Xinu could be good.

        (Yes, I'm guessing that some form of *nix is going to be around as long as humans have computers.) (And yes, I know the original Xinu wasn't open source. Still, though...)

    3. randomengineer

      Re: A name

      it's a dwarf planet, so... Tyrion?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: A name

        "it's a dwarf planet, so... Tyrion?"

        I think they prefer to be called little planets.

    4. collinsl

      Re: A name

      That is an abomination unto Nuggan!

  2. Alistair

    As a Canadian

    I have to apologize for stirring up the orbital politics with this but.....

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Don't tell David Icke

    Because - Reptiles!

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "if it's ...larger and dull..."

    OK, how about; Nebraska ?

  5. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Shiny and bright?

    All metal surface then? This would seem not to bode well if it is....

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    My First Thought Was....

    Is this one of our solar system's making, or did we capture it?

    Hrmmmmm, geeky minds NEED to KNOW!

    1. Little Mouse Silver badge

      Re: My First Thought Was....

      My first thought was....

      Are we DOOOOOOMED?

  7. wolfetone Silver badge

    Naming Conventions

    Just call It Nibiru.

    You know you want to.

    1. VinceH

      Re: Naming Conventions

      Only if its orbit intersects ours.

  8. VinceH

    120 Earth-orbits

    "So far, the researchers have worked out that the planet's orbit takes it more than 120 Earth-orbits away from the Sun"

    And from elsewhere, I've read something to the effect that it might come as close as 34 AU.

    34 AU = (approx) 5,100 million kilometres.

    120 AU = (approx) 18.000 million kilometres.

    I think there's a good chance that, when its orbit is more accurately known, its semi-major axis might be in the 11,580 million kilometre ballpark. Those numbers certainly suggest that area.

    1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

      Re: 120 Earth-orbits

      Well, show us your working!

      1. VinceH

        Re: 120 Earth-orbits

        Okay, if you insist!

        The figure I came up with (six months ago in the linked post, but I may have mentioned it before then) comes from Titius-Bode, as applied to the semi-major axis.

        Mercury - 0.4AU

        Venus - 0.7AU

        Earth - 1.0AU

        Mars - 1.6AU

        Asteroid belt - 2.8AU

        Jupiter - 5.2AU

        Saturn - 10AU

        Uranus - 19.6AU

        Neptune - N/A

        Pluto - 38.8AU

        ? - 77.2AU

        The actual semi-major axis varies from the figure predicted by the sequence but only by comparatively small amounts - the Universe, or even just the Solar System, has had "a few years" to mess up the numbers in any number of ways. One of those ways might also be Neptune, which I've marked as N/A because this only works if it shouldn't be there. I therefore contend it might be an exoplanet that was captured by the Sun's gravity.

        So to the question mark position and this newly discovered dwarf planet.

        77.2AU is 11,580 million kilometres (using a rounded 150 million for 1AU).

        The new dwarf planet's suggested max distance from the sun is 120AU, and its suggested minimum is 34AU. Looking at that very simply (i.e. on the basis that it's furthest point will be on the opposite side of the Sun to the nearest point, so the major axis should be the two added together) gives a major axis of 154 AU - and therefore a semi-major axis of 77 AU (or 11,550 million KM).

        It'll probably be quite a while before the actual figures are known and confirmed.

        Edit: When I commented this morning, I just quickly estimated the semi-major axis. Now that I've used a calculator, the result is much closer than I estimated!

  9. randomengineer

    it's a dwarf planet, so... Tyrion.

  10. PleebSmasher

    boon for humanity

    2015 RR245 will be closer to Earth than Pluto years before the moment of closest approach to the Sun. We'll be able to send probes there within the next 5-10 decades.

    Finding an unexpectedly high amount of largish dwarf planets is a boon for humanity. We may eventually reach a point in technological development where we could live indefinitely on places like Ceres, Europa, Pluto, Sedna, or 2015 RR245. If Planet Nine exists, it will probably have some satellites we could live on as well.

    "I don't want to live on a small. cold rock," you protest. Well, maybe it won't be choice. Just kidding, it really depends on the commute times between Earth/Mars and these distant objects. If 15+ year travel times could be cut to months or weeks, it would be much more tolerable and comparable to crossing the Atlantic or circumnavigating the globe centuries ago.

    1. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Re: boon for humanity

      If 15+ year travel times could be cut to months or weeks


  11. Dr Patrick J R Harkin

    Brighter than expected. Beyond the orbit of Pluto.

    It couldn't be Mondas, could it?

    1. not.known@this.address

      Re: It couldn't be Mondas, could it?

      It's Mongo - see that bloke was right, the hashtag really is #Poke Mongo!

      All hail Ming The Merciless! (I claim 'Quisling Traitor in charge of EMEA' - at least until MtM gets bored and Klytus blasts us to oblivion!)

  12. evlncrn8

    planety mc planetyshortarseface ?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Beat me to it, but I was going to suggest Rocky McRockface

  13. Alan Edwards

    JJ Kavelaars

    Any relation to Ingrid Kavelaars? She's from London, Ontario.

    If so, how about naming the planet after the planet Ethaniel was from in Codename: Eternity, Theran IIRC?

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