AMERICAN scientists have found a new planet in the solar system, 6.2 billion miles from Earth.
Nasa was expected to reveal details of the discovery - the most distant object ever detected orbiting the sun - later today.
The new planet, the tenth heavenly body in the solar system, has been named Sedna, after the Inuit goddess of the ocean.
The find was made by Dr Michael Brown, associate professor of planetary astronomy at the California Institute of Technology, in Pasadena, midway through a three-year Nasa-funded research project.
And it followed sightings of a "mysterious object" by the Hubble Telescope and the Spitzer Space Telescope. The new planet, the first to be discovered for more than 70 years, is believed to be about 1250 miles across.
But scientists say it may even be larger than the furthest known planet, Pluto, which is 1406 miles across and was the last to be discovered in 1930.
Scientists believe Sedna is 6.2bn miles from Earth in a region of space known as the Kuiper Belt, which contains hundreds of other known bodies. Most are small worlds of rock and ice but some, like Sedna, could be as large as or larger than Pluto.