back to article Hunt for Planet X finds yet another planetoid, just not the right one

There is still no sign of the elusive Planet X, although astronomers have stumbled across Goblin along the way. A new dwarf world hailed as 2015 TG387 nicknamed Goblin was confirmed by the International Astronomical Union. It was discovered by a group of researchers working at the Carnegie Institution for Science, Northern …

  1. Little Mouse

    Planet X?

    Shouldn't it be called Planet IX now that Pluto's been demoted?

    1. VikiAi Bronze badge
      Pirate

      Re: Planet X?

      It's where the space pirates buried their space treasure. That's why everyone is so eager to find it!

      ....

      Historical Note: Only two actual pirates ever really buried their treasure. In both instances someone else found and took it almost immediately afterwards.

      1. phuzz Silver badge
        Pirate

        Re: Planet X?

        "Only two actual pirates ever really buried their treasure"

        Well maybe, but presumably if you were burying treasure, it would be to keep it hidden, so it's not exactly something you'd announce or record in a manner that would be likely to enter the historical record.

        In a somewhat related manner, I do know that modern day marine salvagers store some of their finds in specific locations underwater, until they've gathered enough to take it into a port.

        Unfortunately for the employer of an acquaintance of mine, the storage site they picked was a shipwreck that they had already cleaned out, and who's location was known. They came back months later to pick up their carefully packaged finds, only to find empty seabed. That was a seven figure loss.

    2. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

      Re: Planet X?

      Pluto has never been a friend of Stalin. The pictures prove it.

      1. frank ly Silver badge

        Re: Planet X?

        It's very confusing: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planets_beyond_Neptune#Planet_X

        "Not to be confused with the hypothetical planet first proposed in 2014 known as Planet Nine, which is sometimes called Planet X."

        1. defiler Silver badge

          Re: Planet X?

          known as Planet Nine

          From Outer Space? Is that not where Bela Lugosi went to die?

    3. Roj Blake Silver badge

      Re: Planet X?

      According to the Dune novels, Planet Ix is where all the decent technology comes from.

      1. VikiAi Bronze badge
        Headmaster

        Re: Planet IX

        According to Douglas Adams, it is a name meaning "boy who is not able satisfactorily to explain what a Hrung is, nor why it should choose to collapse on Betelgeuse Seven". :-D

    4. LDS Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Planet X?

      Planet iX is being built by Apple. It's a secret plan to move their HQ there and avoid to pay taxes in the near future.

  2. cream wobbly

    That's what it means.

    Goblin lies about 80 AU from the Sun, making it 80 times more distant than the Earth is from the Sun.

    Thank you for restating the very definition of the astronomical unit. Where would we be without you?

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Paris Hilton

      Re: That's what it means.

      > Where would we be without you?

      1 AU from the Sun?

    2. OssianScotland

      Re: That's what it means.

      Copy and Paste from the Daily Fail's "science" section?

  3. ThatOne Silver badge

    Wow.

    Orbit taking 40000 years - That's a long year! If there is intelligent life up there, the periodic appearance of a less-faint star in the sky is not even a vague legend: In our time scale, 40000 years ago is about the time Neanderthals got extinct.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Wow.

      Does one "got extinct"?

      Or does one "go extinct"?

      Asking for an extant species....

    2. defiler Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Wow.

      If a year is 40000 years then <year>=0. No?

      Yes, I'm avoiding work.

      1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

        Re: Wow.

        Orbit taking 40000 years - That's a long year!

        But perfect for people who dislike birthdays, anniverseries and annual pay awards. And don't try hanging calendars from the wall using drawing pins.

    3. Wellyboot Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Wow.

      >>>40000 years ago is about the time Neanderthals got extinct.<<<

      and next time it goes past there'll be a 'lane out of use' traffic warning on the solar system bypass.

    4. The Nazz Silver badge

      Re: Neandertahls gone extinct.

      Well if my SO (on a bad week/day) is to be believed we've not all gone extinct.

      1. hplasm Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: Neandertahls gone extinct.

        "Well if my SO (on a bad week/day) is to be believed we've not all gone extinct."

        They do say they may have been the brighter ones, if that's any consolation...

  4. frank ly Silver badge

    The Goblin is very eccentric

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2015_TG387

    With an orbital period of 34,000 years, it goes out to about 2,000 AU at it's furthest distance so the astronomers were lucky to see it. Also, those distant objects tend to have orbital planes that are quite inclined compared to the major planets and so you need to observe a much larger region of the sky to have a chance of seeing them.

    There may be (probably are) many more similar objects out there that are just too far away to see or detect at this time, unless we go exploring or make some amazing detection equipment.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The Goblin is very eccentric

      Transforming the mass of Jupiter into an expanding shell of exploro-bots to map the surrounding region sounds like a good project to consider for later.

      1. Big John Silver badge

        Re: The Goblin is very eccentric

        > "Transforming the mass of Jupiter into an expanding shell of exploro-bots ..."

        Oh sure, and then have to listen to people complaining for the next ten million years about human caused orbit change?

    2. Felonmarmer

      Re: The Goblin is very eccentric

      Only journalism maths can round 34,000 to 40,000.

  5. Paul Herber

    2000 AU in context

    2000 AU is a long way from the sun, but Proxima Centauri is 250,000 AU.

    1. MrXavia

      Re: 2000 AU in context

      This makes Proxima Centauri sound close to me.... only 125 times the distance!

      1. VinceH Silver badge

        Re: 2000 AU in context

        Yes, it's an incredible orbit - a perihelion of just under 65AU to an aphelion of just under 2040AU.

        That gives it a semi-major axis of just over 1050AU, which I *think* means it doesn't fit my Titius-Bode (re)workings, but my brain doesn't seem to want to work it out properly at the moment. It's been a long week. I want to say the closest point on the sequence at that distance would be 1200AU, but I don't trust my brain right now.

        1. VinceH Silver badge

          Re: 2000 AU in context

          And the fact that I've somehow replied to the wrong post just goes to prove my point. My brain is not to be trusted today.

    2. Ugotta B. Kiddingme
      Joke

      Re: 2000 AU in context

      well that IS farther than down the road to the chemist.

  6. Chloe Cresswell

    Planet X?

    Are we short of Illudium Phosdex, "the shaving cream atom"?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Are we short of Illudium Phosdex, "the shaving cream atom"?"

      Would that be the identity of Chemical X - the one that gave us the Powerpuff girls?

      1. Big John Silver badge

        > "Would that be the identity of Chemical X..."

        No one knows - It's a very dark matter.

      2. Chloe Cresswell

        I don't know, we'll have to ask... Duck Dodgers in the 24½th Century *strikes pose!*

  7. TrumpSlurp the Troll Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    Doing my head in.

    At the furthest distance from Planet X the gravitational pull must be minimal. Inverse square and all that.

    Why doesn't it just keep on going?

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: Doing my head in.

      Because every little bit helps.

      1. Big John Silver badge

        Re: Doing my head in.

        But mostly because that tiny solar pull gets to operate over a very long time period. If the object had even a little more velocity, it would indeed slip the surly bonds and so forth.

    2. LDS Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Doing my head in.

      Sure, but still not zero. Any inhabitant should be careful about the direction to sneeze (or worse), though... ;-)

  8. wayward4now
    Alien

    Stay away!!

    I live on Planet X, as you call it, and I had to relocate here from Mars. You people kept sending your probes crashing into my ham bushes and blanket trees. That got real old. Just so you know, this planet has a steering wheel and thrusters. Screw with me again and I'll take you bastards with me. See if I don't!

    1. VikiAi Bronze badge
      Joke

      Re: Stay away!!

      * wayward4now returns from his surface walk with notable laser burns on his/her suit. "That wasn't a small Martian Steak-tree. It was a Martian Ham-bush!" *

      ---> Icon because I am stretching the definition of 'joke' a bit, I thinks! :-P

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