What should this new planet be named?
Scientists: Good evidence for 9th planet in solar system
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Scientists reported Wednesday they finally have “good evidence” for Planet X, a true ninth planet on the fringes of our solar system.
The gas giant is thought to be almost as big as Neptune and orbiting billions of miles beyond Neptune’s path — distant enough to take 10,000 to 20,000 years to circle the sun.
This Planet 9, as the two California Institute of Technology researchers call it, hasn’t been spotted yet. They base their findings on mathematical and computer modeling, and anticipate its discovery via telescope within five years or less.
The two reported on their research Wednesday in the Astronomical Journal because they want people to help them look for it.
“We could have stayed quiet and quietly spent the next five years searching the skies ourselves and hoping to find it. But I would rather somebody find it sooner, than me find it later,” astronomer Mike Brown told The Associated Press.
“I want to see it. I want to see what it looks like. I want to understand where it is, and I think this will help.”
Once it’s detected, Brown insists there will be no Pluto-style planetary debate. Brown ought to know; he’s the so-called Pluto killer who helped lead the charge against Pluto’s planetary status in 2006. (It’s now officially considered a dwarf planet.) [BOOOO!]
[…]”This is a prediction. What we have found is a gravitational signature of Planet 9 lurking in the outskirts of the solar system,’ Batygin said. “We have not found the object itself,” he stressed, adding that the actual discovery when it happens will be “era-defining.”
[…]The orb — believed to be 10 times more massive than Earth and 5,000 times more massive than dwarf Pluto — may well have rings and moons.
The last real planet to be discovered in our solar system was Neptune in 1846. Pluto, discovered in 1930, was once the 9th planet but is now considered a dwarf planet in the Kuiper Belt. It was visited by Earth for the first time last July; NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft accomplished the first-ever flyby.
Read the whole thing there.
Yes, we need to start a project to name this new planet. Although…. Planet X is pretty spiffy. Planet Z would be better.
BTW… check out APOD today HERE for the “Running Chicken Nebula”.