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February 14, 2011

Out: Pluto as Ninth Planet
In: Tyche As Ninth Planet?

It sort of shocks me that we might still be discovering planets in our own neighborhood, but I guess that's because I don't really appreciate how very large our own neighborhood is (even if it's tiny).

Out in the Oort Cloud*, which is something I always have to look up but seems to be where comets live when they're not commuting in to destroy the earth, there may lurk a behemoth planet four times as massive as Jupiter.

Oh, here's the Oort Cloud, in comparison with a tiny inset of what we usually think of as the solar system:

They suspect some large planet is out there because comets aren't coming out of the cloud at the predicted angles, something they think could be explained by the presence of a hitherto-unknown mass kaffoodling with their trajectories.

* I have to note that the Oort Cloud is the best made-up Star Wars name that actually isn't made-up or in Star Wars.


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posted by Ace at 05:51 PM

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