Farout! It's the solar system's most distant object

An artist's rendering of the dwarf planet 2018 VG18, nicknamed Farout.
An artist's rendering of the dwarf planet 2018 VG18, nicknamed Farout.PHOTO: REUTERS

Astronomers have discovered a far-out world circling the Sun.

How far out? It is so far out that the discoverers nicknamed it Farout. All they can see is a pinkish dot of light in the night sky, but that is enough to infer that they are looking at a 480km ice ball orbiting more than 18 billion km from the Sun - more than three times as far out as Pluto, and the farthest object ever observed in the solar system.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 22, 2018, with the headline 'Farout! It's the solar system's most distant object'. Print Edition | Subscribe