Evidence of a still-undiscovered planet, called Planet Nine or Planet X by scientists, has been mounting for some time, and a newly-discovered object far out from the Sun may be the latest piece to the growing puzzle. It takes about 40,000 years for a complete walk around the Sun (its year) and 99% of this time is too light to be seen from Earth.
For context, Pluto is around 34 AU, so 2015 TG387 is about two and a half times further out than Pluto.
It is one of the most distant bodies ever identified within the sun's gravitational range. "Currently we would only detect 2015 TG387 when it is near its closest approach to the sun".
Sheppard hopes to find more objects like The Goblin to further pin down the location and orbit of the potential Planet Nine.
It's believed to be 300km (186 miles) across, which puts it at the small end of qualifying as a dwarf planet.
"We think there could be thousands of small bodies like 2015 TG387 out on the solar system's fringes, but their distance makes finding them very hard", added the University of Hawaii's David Tholen, a member of the research team.
'They can be used as probes to understand what is happening at the edge of our solar system'. Just two, 2012 VP113 and 90377 Sedna have a perihelion (the point of an object's orbit closest to the sun) farther out than The Goblin, and its orbit actually takes it far beyond them at its most distant point.
We will remind, scientists have confirmed that Mars life is possible.
Trujillo and University of Oklahoma's Nathan Kaib ran computer simulations for how different hypothetical Planet X orbits would affect the orbit of 2015 TG387.
The orbits of the newfound extreme dwarf planet 2015 TG387 and its fellow Inner Oort Cloud objects 2012 VP113 and Sedna, as compared with the rest of the solar system.
Intriguingly the orbits of the three objects discovered so far appear to be clustered together, suggesting that they are being shepherded by a giant, unknown object.
The International Astronomical Union's Minor Planet Centre announced on Tuesday that an a distant object billions of kilometres beyond Pluto has been spotted. Opening Goblin indirectly confirms that this region may be a big planet - it is under the gravitational influence of a large object that is not visible yet. At TG387's most distant spot in its orbit, traveling there would be the equivalent to circling the earth seven times, or traveling three-quarters of the way to the moon. If you're the kind of person who has always stood by the opinion that there's way more out there in space than we know about (ever since you saw E.T.as a kid), now you know that you were onto something all along. The researchers, including Sheppard, Northern Arizona University's Chad Trujilllo and the University of Hawaii's David Tholen, have also submitted a paper to the Astronomical Journal detailing their findings.