Newly discovered dwarf planet could challenge what we know about our solar system
While Pluto might have been stripped of its full planetary status, thanks to a shift in official definitions, a newly discovered planetoid could actually hint at the existence of a "super-Earth" in the far reaches of our solar system. The ball of rock and ice, known as 2012 VP113, is estimated to be 250 miles wide, and has the most distant known orbit of our sun -- currently around 7.7 billion miles, extending to around 42 billion at its farthest. 2012 VP113 was spotted using the Dark Energy Camera in Chile, after a series of time-lapse photos captured it moving across the night sky.
It's not the first (and probably not the last) object of notable size observed beyond the Kuiper belt -- Sedna was discovered in 2003, but until now had been pretty much a lone case. Exciting as this is, it's also thought that, given certain similarities in the angle of Sedna and 2012 VP113's orbit, that there might be a much larger planet lurking in the shadows pulling on them, yet to reveal itself. This, once more, could change what we know about our very own observable solar system. Time to revise those museum models again?