28 Mar

Holy crap: there’s a giant planet far out beyond where the comets are made… maybe

This is so sense-of-wonder amazing to me. A bunch of researchers found a large object out there beyond Pluto. Which is cool. But after analyzing it they think its orbit hints at something really, really big out there.

Hold on Chewie, that ain’t no moon:

“Intriguingly, Sheppard’s team also found a strange alignment when they looked at the orbits of 2012 VP113, Sedna and 10 other objects that lie closer to the sun. ‘It was a big surprise to us,’ he says.

One explanation for the alignment could be the tug of a rocky planet that is 10 times the mass of Earth that orbits the sun at 250 AU, the team calculate. That world would be cold and faint – and would push and pull at the closer objects like a distant but powerful puppeteer.”

(Via New dwarf planet hints at giant world far beyond Pluto – space – 26 March 2014 – New Scientist.)

You know what’s cool? I’m a grown ass dude and every few years my whole understanding of the solar system gets readjusted as we learn more.