2016-01-22 (Friday)

Today, I learned that:

Space lovers are having a week that is nothing else but fabulous. We already saw the first flower grown in zero gravity. And now, going from plant to planet, here comes other equally exciting news.

Astronomers at California Institute of Technology suggest that our solar system has a ninth planet. By measuring dwarf plants in the Kuiper Belt, farther away from us than Pluto, they suggest that their irregular movements may be due to influence by another, still unknown planet, that they call Planet Nine. If that is true, this planet is 5 to 10 times bigger than Earth and has an orbit around the Sun that takes 10.000 to 20.000 years to complete.

This reminds me of how Pluto was once discovered. In the 1840s, Urban Le Verrier predicted the position of Neptune by how Uranus had its orbit disturbed by another celestial object, and once Neptune had been discovered, there was a similar discussion about yet another planet, beyond Neptune. In 1909, Percival Lowell and William H. Pickering suggested the position of such a Planet X, until finally Pluto was confirmed by Clyde Tombaugh in 1930.

And speaking about planets, the coming two weeks will give us a festival of planets, when all five planets March, Venus, Jupiter, Mercury and Saturn will be aligned in the early morning sky and visible with naked eye! The reference below gives more details about that, and thanks also to Cecilia for the hint!

… That’s what I learned in school!

Refs.:

1: Astronomers may have found the Solar System’s 9th planet

2: Evidence for a distant giant planet in the solar system

3: Pluto

4: See all five naked-eye planets gathered in the morning sky

+: What did you learn in school today ?

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2 comments

  1. cecilianilss0n · January 23, 2016

    Thanks for a really entertaining and educational blog! The worst thing being a space lover is that the most spectacular phenomena always appear in early mornings! 😪 😪 😪

    Like

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