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This adorable dwarf planet is half the size of Pluto

If you thought Pluto wasn't a planet, you should meet DeeDee.

deedee.jpg
Artist's impression of DeeDee

The solar system doesn't end at Pluto.

Out past the Kuiper belt, there are other objects orbiting our sun, including V774104, the farthest object identified in the solar system. In October 2016, a team of astronomers at the University of Michigan and the Dark Energy Survey announced the discovery of DeeDee, the third-most-distant object from the sun.

DeeDee, also known by its official designation 2014 UZ224 (DeeDee is short for "Distant Dwarf") is some 91.4AU away: That's 91.4 times the distance between the Earth and the Sun. Because it's so far away, it's hard to make out much detail about it. We already knew that it takes around 1,136 years to complete one orbit of the sun, but using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array, a team of scientists have made some new discoveries. The paper has been published in the journal Astrophysical Journal Letters.

The first is DeeDee's size. It's around 635 kilometres (394.6 miles) in diameter. That's around a quarter of the length of the Colorado River, and just over half the size of Pluto's 1,187-kilometre (737.6-mile) body. And the team was able to find out its temperatur, too: 30 degrees Kelvin (-405.67 Fahrenheit, -243.15 Celsius).

DeeDee in and of itself may not be that exciting to you. But you should be excited. The tools we have for probing the universe around us are growing ever more sensitive and sophisticated, allowing us to find out more all the time.