2003 EL61, as it has been currently classified, has been discovered, and it may be another one of those elusive planets that seem to creep up every once in a great while in our solar system.
A new found object in our solar system’s outskirts may be larger than any known world after Pluto, scientists said today.
It also has a moon.
Designated as 2003 EL61, the main object in the two-body system is 32 percent as massive as Pluto and is estimated to be about 70 percent of Pluto’s diameter.
Other news reports that the object could be twice as big as Pluto are false, according to two astronomers who found the object in separate studies and another expert who has analyzed the data.
If the mass is only one-third that of Pluto, then theory holds that it can’t be larger than Pluto, according to Brian Marsden of the Minor Planet Center, which serves as a clearinghouse for data on all newfound objects in the solar system.
Marsden, who was not involved in the discovery but has reviewed the data, told SPACE.com that the mass estimate is very firm, within 1 or 2 percent. “I don’t think it is bigger than Pluto,” he said.