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Daniel Fischer Dec 18
There is a LOT of misinformation around re. the "most distant solar system object" 2018 VG18: a) the orbit is very uncertain, b) the best guess is perihelion ~20 au, aphelion ~170 au (i.e. nowhere near distance records!), and c) it is observed beyond 100 au NOW - THAT's a record.
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Mike Brown
possibly. it could also be a high perihelion object at ~80AU. the orbits look about the same for the first year. so the options are: (1) it's the most distant observed but boring or (2) it is not so distant but it is interesting. I'm hoping for (2).
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Launch Pad Astronomy Dec 19
Replying to @plutokiller @cosmos4u
Why would it be boring if distant or interesting if not?
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Daniel Fischer Dec 19
If the currently assumed - but still very uncertain - orbit is correct, it would be just one of many transneptunes with perihelia inside and aphelia well outside Neptune's orbit: nothing special. Not sure though which orbital elements would make it 'interesting'. ;-)
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Mike Brown Dec 19
high perihelion would be interesting! a high perihelion object near perihelion has the same motion as a more distant, low-perihelion object, for about the first year. possibly their post-Gaia astrometry is now so good they can rule that out more quickly. Possible not.
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Daniel Fischer Dec 19
An alternate orbital fit:
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Daniel Fischer Dec 19
... which I'm now being told sucks totally - I think I shut up and revisit this case a few years from now (unless precovery images are found).
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Launch Pad Astronomy Dec 19
Replying to @plutokiller @cosmos4u
Heard the object *could* be an extended satellite of given where it was found and extended P9 hill sphere. Thoughts?
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Mike Brown Dec 19
definitely no.
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Launch Pad Astronomy Dec 19
Replying to @plutokiller @cosmos4u
Not surprised :)
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