Great stuff from the Carnegie Institute of Science, via The Guardian:
An extremely distant dwarf planet, named The Goblin, has been discovered in observations that are redefining the outer reaches of the solar system.
Astronomers made the discovery while hunting for a hypothetical massive planet, known as Planet Nine, that is suspected to be in orbit far beyond Pluto in a mysterious region known as the Oort Cloud. Planet Nine has not yet been seen directly, but The Goblin appears to be under the gravitational influence of a giant unseen object, adding to astronomers’ certainty that it is out there.
The newly discovered icy world, estimated to be just 300km across, is in an extremely elongated orbit. At its closest, it gets about two and a half times as far from the sun as Pluto. Then it heads off to the outermost fringes of the solar system, to almost 60 times further out than Pluto, taking an astounding 40,000 years to loop once around the sun. For 99% of its orbit, it would be too faint to see.
‘Planet Nine’? ‘The Goblin’? When did astronomers get so cool with their names?
“Despite centuries of surveys, our understanding of the solar system remains incomplete,” [Konstantin Batygin, assistant professor of planetary science at Caltech] said. “This certainly adds to the growing ledger of … objects that show Planet Nine’s influence.”
Hmm. There’s definitely a book to be written about THE INFLUENCE OF THE MYSTERIOUS PLANET NINE.