The Green Hope Falcon

Planet 9

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Planet 9

Geoffrey Dean, Staff writer

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My Very Excited Mother Just Sent Us Nine Pizzas.  This was the phrase used to remember all nine planets in Earth’s solar system.  That is until a couple years ago, when Pluto was deemed unfit to qualify as a planet, and was removed from the list.  However, the makeup of the universe may be changing once again, as astrologists may have discovered another planet.

 

Currently labeled as “Planet Nine,” the most recent solar discovery is most likely tucked away behind Neptune.  This may be hard to believe, as it is estimated to be ten times the size of planet Earth. It may be hard to comprehend the fact that a planet of this size has still not been discovered, but in reality, this planet is so far away, no matter how big it was, scientists would not be able to see it with their current technology.  “Planet Nine” is approximated at a distance of 600 astronomical units (1 astronomical unit = 93 million miles) away from from the sun. However, given this planet”s incredible distance from the sun, it may be up to another millennium until it is actually found.

 

Scientists and researchers have come up with 5 lines of evidence to strengthen their argument for its existence.  They mostly focus around the fact that its immense size may be the cause for several astrological phenomena, including planetary tilt and orbital patterns.  In addition, the presence of abnormal behavior by objects in a separate planetary belt has led to the hypothesis that this planet does indeed, exist. An irregular orbit by dwarf planets and ice crystals in the Kuipar belt may be caused by this behemoth of a planet.  Scott Sheppard, an astronomer at the Carnegie Institution for Science explained, “If things are in the same orbit, then something’s pushing them.”  In other words, the gravitational pull of this planet is so strong, that objects in other planetary systems are being affected.

 

While it is highly unlikely that the discovery of this planet will occur in the next couple generations, it is still quite an exciting proposition.  When GHHS Astronomy teacher, Mr. Basham, was asked about his reaction to this new possibility he responded, “I think it’s not surprising. When you’re talking about things out in the Kuiper belt there’s so much we don’t know… I think it’s only a matter of time before we actually locate it, but I think it’s all very fascinating.”  Our galaxy as we know it may be changing, as will our science textbooks for all the years to come.

 

About the Writer
Geoffrey Dean, Staff Writer

This is Geoffrey’s first year on The Falcon.  He is an aspiring writer, who is now a Junior after spending two years at Green Hope already.  He is...

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Planet 9