SunstarTV Bureau: The faint planet named Farfarout has been confirmed as the most distant object in our solar system. The planet was discovered two years ago in January 2018 with the help of the Subaru Telescope at Mauna Kea, Hawaii. This was confirmed with the help of research done in the last two years at the International Gemini Observatory, a Program of NSF’s NOIRLab, and other ground-based telescopes.
The celestial body located far away in our solar system received this designation from the International Astronomical Union (IAU).
2018 AG37 was first imaged on 15 January 2018 by astronomers Scott Sheppard, David Tholen, and Chad Trujillo using the 8.2-meter Subaru Telescope at Mauna Kea Observatory, Hawaii.They were surveying the sky with the largest telescopes to find distant Solar System objects and the hypothetical Planet Nine, whose existence they proposed in 2014.
2018 AG37 was not noticed until January 2019, when Sheppard decided to review the Subaru images taken in 2018 after having an upcoming lecture delayed by weather. In two of the January 2018 images taken one day apart, he identified a very faint apparent magnitude 25.3 object that moved slowly relative to the background stars and galaxies. Based on two positions of 2018 AG37 in those images, Sheppard estimated its distance was roughly around 140 astronomical units (AU), farther than 2018 VG18 which was discovered and announced by his team one month earlier in December 2018. In his rescheduled talk on 21 February 2019, Sheppard remarked on his discovery of 2018 AG37, which he jokingly nicknamed “FarFarOut” as a succession to the nickname “Farout” used for the previous farthest object 2018 VG18.
Following 2018 AG37’s discovery, Sheppard reobserved the object in March 2019 with the 6.5-meter Magellan-Baade telescope at Las Campanas Observatory, Chile. Additional observations were then made in May 2019 and January 2020 with the Subaru Telescope at Mauna Kea.These observations over a two-year period established a tentative orbit solution for 2018 AG37, permitting it to be confirmed and announced by the Minor Planet Center. The confirmation of 2018 AG37 was formally announced in a press release by the Carnegie Institution for science on 10 February 2021.
The object was initially estimated to be roughly 140 AU (21 billion km) from the Sun, but this estimate was uncertain due to the very short initial observation arc. As of 2021, it is the farthest observed object of the Solar System.When it was announced in February 2021, 2018 AG37 had an observation arc of two years. Based on this, it was 132.2 ± 1.5 AU (19.78 ± 0.22 billion km) from the Sun at the time of its discovery on 15 January 2018.