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B Newly Discovered Trans-Neptunian Dwarf Planet

  1. Nov 14, 2015 #1

    Contrary to what the article above states, before this discovery was made 90377 Sedna (2003 VB12) was the furthest trans-Neptunian dwarf planet in our solar system with Semi-Major Axis of 506 AU, and an Aphelion estimated to be ≈937 AU. The 103 AU distance the above article gives for V774104 is its estimated Perihelion.

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  3. Nov 20, 2015 #2


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    Thanks Glitch, for the interesting news and links! :smile:
  4. Nov 20, 2015 #3
    I just found it interesting. Granted, it is not very large dwarf planet, but not long ago astronomers were saying that planets should not be able to form at distances of 650 AU or more from their star. I am referring specifically to HD 106906 b. It may be that such planets have highly eccentric orbits and we are merely observing them at, or near, their aphelion. It makes one wonder what else lies beyond the heliopause of our solar system, besides Voyager 1.
  5. Nov 20, 2015 #4
    I think in the next few decades, well develop the technology to start detecting TNOs by the boatload. Maybe someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but I would think that our telescopes are currently seeing them, we just don't have the computer algorithms to be able to pull them out of the random background fluctuations.
  6. Nov 20, 2015 #5


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    Given the large number of precovery images found for various objects: quite likely. We probably have observational data to discover thousands of objects in the solar system (mainly main-belt asteroids) - if there would be a way to combine and analyze everything together with unlimited CPU time.
  7. Nov 22, 2015 #6
    Once a planetary disk develops instabilities, orbits become elliptical and entropy in the system increases.
    Objects mostly end up being launched to the outer edges of the solar system or are simply tossed out.
    Gravitational capture or collision are statistically unlikely and bigger objects are less likely to be in unstable orbits.
    Didn't anyone create a statistical distribution graph yet that plots object mass vs. the likelihood it is found at a certain distance from the main star?
  8. Nov 23, 2015 #7
    This was already done. Mike Brown with colleagues pulled data from several wide-field surveys and ran it through software to find TNOs. They found all big known TNOs, but no unknown ones. Here's the post where he announced this sad result:


    I've seen a more detailed post where he explained in much more details what they did. Unfortunately, I failed to find it now. IIRC, the source survey data was down to ~19 magnitude. To find new TNOs, we need deeper surveys. I think there aren't (yet) wide field surveys to ~25 mag.

    Edit: found it. In fact, found *them*.

    They performed their own survey on 1.2 m Samuel Oschin Telescope at Palomar Observatory and here are the results published in 2010:


    Then they processed data from other surveys, a bit less sensitive but covering more of the sky:


    They did not find any new bright TNOs:

    "After 6 months of processing of 7 years worth of data, we found all of the bright Kuiper belt objects that we already knew (...).

    And, so, a decade after that discovery of Eris, a decade after that moment in life when it seemed that the next huge discovery could be a single click away, I have to announce that it is really true: we are through with discoveries of bright new objects in the outer solar system."
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2015
  9. Nov 23, 2015 #8
    I am amazed in this day and age that anyone would claim there would be no new discoveries to be made, when so many have said the same thing in the past and have been repeatedly proven wrong. The one constant seems to be that there are always new discoveries to be made.

    I am looking forward to the new discoveries to be made by the James Webb Space Telescope.
  10. Nov 23, 2015 #9
    Glitch, please do not misrepresent what I (and Mike Brown) have said.
  11. Nov 23, 2015 #10
    If he did not find any new TNOs, clearly he missed V774104. Then to make a statement that "we are through with discoveries of bright new objects in the outer solar system" is difficult to misrepresent.
  12. Nov 23, 2015 #11
    Which part of word "bright" you do not understand?

    V774104 has apparent magnitude of about 24. Mike Brown's surveys were sensitive to 21 at max.
  13. Nov 23, 2015 #12
    Apparently both you and Mike Brown have forgotten the aphorism "the absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence."
  14. Nov 23, 2015 #13


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    Last edited: Nov 24, 2015
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