Thursday, January 21, 2016

The Ninth Planet

"The solar system appears to have a new ninth planet. Today, two scientists announced evidence that a body nearly the size of Neptune—but as yet unseen—orbits the sun every 15,000 years. During the solar system’s infancy 4.5 billion years ago, they say, the giant planet was knocked out of the planet-forming region near the sun. Slowed down by gas, the planet settled into a distant elliptical orbit, where it still lurks today."

- from the January 20, 2016 Science Magazine's news article.


What's this? Two posts in one day?

Yes, the news is coming in fast and furiously in 2016!  (Am I up to it?  No, but maybe you are.)

Dana Tonnies, star reporter, has just notified me of this latest scoop: the possible discovery of a ninth planet. Which is very cool. If you remember, I did note in my new year's article, that 2016 is, in a numerological sense, a number 9 year. (Thanks, Dana!)

As it was, I never did buy into the downgrading of Pluto's status... because it destroyed the wonderful symmetry a ninth planet creates. So, maybe the symmetry will be restored. Then again, we must reign in our enthusiasm until nuts and bolts evidence is found:

"That something didn’t have to be a planet. Sedna’s gravitational nudge could have come from a passing star, or from one of the many other stellar nurseries that surrounded the nascent sun at the time of the solar system’s formation.

Since then, a handful of other icy objects have turned up in similar orbits. By combining Sedna with five other weirdos, Brown says he has ruled out stars as the unseen influence: Only a planet could explain such strange orbits. Of his three major discoveries—Eris, Sedna, and now, potentially, Planet X—Brown says the last is the most sensational. 'Killing Pluto was fun. Finding Sedna was scientifically interesting,' he says. 'But this one, this is head and shoulders above everything else.'"

"Killing Pluto was fun" ?!

Scientists are so weird.

Meanwhile, Planet X isn't a wholly new discovery. Before Pluto's downfall, Mac mentioned similar anomalies on Posthuman Blues here, and here.

Triangulation of the third kind...

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