Before 2003, our understanding of the solar system was simple, uncomplicated and even complete. We were so busy studying the distant constellations and quasars that we had no time to look at the outer edges of our own star system.
But, the discovery of a little, frozen red planet called Sedna much beyond Pluto changed our perception of the outer edges of the solar system. Soon, Pluto was no longer a major planet and our focus turned to the Kuiper Belt and beyond.
Discovered by Scott Sheppard of the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington, D.C., and Chad Trujillo of the Gemini Observatory in Hawaii, the new planet of 2012 VP113 has joined Sedna as one of the most distant planets orbiting the sun!
Unlike Sedna, which is red and shiny, VP113 is dull, pinkish and temperatures here are expected to be around minus 430 degrees Fahrenheit.
Residing in the inner Oort Cloud, both the dwarf planets have an incredibly elliptical orbit with Sedna stretching out 84 billion miles from the sun at its farthest point, while VP113 is currently at 42 billion miles.
But the real big talking point of the discovery is the growing speculation that a giant planet much bigger than earth is hiding in the dark cosmos at a distance of 250 AU away from the sun.
Astronomers believe that it is this giant that is causing anomalies in the movements of these dwarf planets like Sedna and VP113, along with disturbances in the outer Oort Cloud.
While it might be long before we find conclusive proof, 2012 VP113 establishes the fact that Sedna and Eris were no anomalies.