The object’s name officially is 2015 TG38, and has been nicknamed “The Goblin”, because that’s a much cooler name. IT is a member to a group named extreme trans-Neptunian objects, meaning that its orbit travels to incredible distances from our star. Its orbit could be the result of “The Goblin’s” interaction with a planet which has yet to be discovered.
The Goblin was discovered extremely far away from the Sun, being well over twice the distance from the Sun as Pluto. Its orbit stretches in an oblong shape that takes it upwards of 2,300 times as far away from the Sun as the Earth is. Meanwhile, Plus is somewhere around 34 times as far away from the Sun as Earth. The Goblin really gets way out there.
Astronomers find these types of objects to be special, since their orbit and behavior aren’t thought to be influenced by the larger bodies residing within the inner solar system, such as Jupiter, Neptune, and others. But, if it isn’t be tugged on by planets we’re aware of, this leaves the door open for it to be interacting with objects yet to be discovered, such as Planet Nine.
While the orbit of The Goblin was being studies, researchers found it appeared to be acted upon by an unseen object in the same areas as others, that offer hints to a hidden planet existing. With not being able to see the planet itself, scientists are only able to go by what they are seeing other objects do as they are orbiting. There have been several previous examples which show that something large appeared to be an influence on the movements of objects far beyond Neptune.
“These distant objects are like breadcrumbs leading us to Planet X,” said Scott Sheppard of Carnegie, author of a new study that was published in the Astronomical Journal. “The more of them we can find, the better we can understand the outer Solar System and the possible planet that we think is shaping their orbits—a discovery that would redefine our knowledge of the Solar System’s evolution.” He continued
It isn’t definitive evidence, far from it, but it’s yet another step towards finding or debunking the Planet Nine myth.
Kyle James Lee – The AEGIS Alliance – This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.