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Nasa discovers a tenth planet???





damj
A tenth planet?!?

That would take some getting used to ...

Quote:
Planet X
Literally Planet X, especially if you use Roman numerals. NASA scientists have discovered a 10th planet in our solar system. The planet, larger than Pluto, was discovered using the Samuel Oschin Telescope at Palomar Observatory near San Diego, Calif. The discovery was announced today by planetary scientist Dr. Mike Brown of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, Calif., whose research is partly funded by NASA.

While this object has many similarities to others in the Kuiper belt, its sheer size in relation to the nine known planets means that it can only be classified as a planet, according to Dr. Brown. Currently about 97 times

further from the sun than the Earth, the planet is the farthest-known object in the solar system, and the third brightest of the Kuiper belt objects.

"It will be visible with a telescope over the next six months and is currently almost directly overhead in the early-morning eastern sky, in the constellation Cetus," said Brown, who made the discovery with colleagues

Chad Trujillo, of the Gemini Observatory in Mauna Kea, Hawaii, and David

Rabinowitz, of Yale University, New Haven, Conn., on January 8.

Catalogued as 2003UB313, it was first photographed with the 48-inch Samuel Oschin Telescope on October 31, 2003 by Brown, Trujillo and Rabinowitz.

At that time the object was so far away that its motion was not detected

until they reanalyzed the data in January of this year. In the last seven months, the scientists have been studying the planet to better estimate its size and its motions. "It's definitely bigger than Pluto," said Brown, who is a professor of planetary astronomy.

Scientists are able to estimate the size of a solar system object by its

brightness, just as one can infer the size of a faraway light bulb if one knows its wattage. The reflectance of this planet is not yet known. Scientists can not yet tell how much light from the sun is reflected away, but the amount of light the planet reflects puts a lower limit on its size.

"Even if it reflected 100 percent of the light reaching it, it would still be as big as Pluto," says Brown. "I'd say it's probably one and a half times the size of Pluto, but we're not sure yet of the final size.

"We are 100 percent confident that this is the first object bigger than Pluto ever found in the outer solar system," Brown added.

The size of the planet is limited by observations using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, which has already proved its mettle in studying the heat of dim, faint, faraway objects such as the Kuiper-belt bodies. Because Spitzer is unable to detect the new planet, the overall diameter must be less than 2,000 miles, said Brown.

A name for the new planet has been proposed by the discoverers to the International Astronomical Union, and they are awaiting the decision of this body before announcing the name.
MeddlingMonk
This Kuiper Belt Object has now been classified as a "dwarf planet" (which in itself caused the creation of a set of criteria as to what a planet actually was) and named Eris (though the nick-name Xena did stick around for a while). Pluto, too, has been classified as a dwarf planet, due to its orbit (it is not in the plane of the other planets and it is highly elliptical) and size in relation to the other planets, reducing the number of planets in our solar system to eight.
teknotom
Isn't that necroposting? Rolling Eyes
Tim Graham
Just as long as they're entirely sure it's not Pluto Very Happy
ThePolemistis
damj wrote:
A tenth planet?!?


Wouldn't that make it the 9th Planet, since Pluto is a dwarf planet and not an offical planet?
agustin
Oh I didint know that! Thats interesant.
polis
This is very old. The planet X was discovered long time ago.
coolclay
Yes it was discovered a long time ago, and the OP needs to use quotes as well, obviously he didn't write that him/herself
rshanthakumar
None of the Kuiper belt bodies would qualify as a planet. Apart from size, there are other criteria to be satisfied if an object has to become a planet. One is it should be in the same planetary plane as that of the other planets and the Sun. The Kuiper belt itself is a slanting one and is at an angle.

Then, there is the condition of the elipse having the other Kepler ratios. Unless these conditions are satisfied it cannot be termed a planet.
Liques
There are so many planets undiscoverds...
polis
Liques wrote:
There are so many planets undiscoverds...


That was so philosophical....
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