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Discovery! Possible Dwarf Planet Found Far Beyond Pluto’s Orbit

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posted on Mar, 26 2014 @ 02:46 PM
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Astronomers have discovered a possible dwarf planet beyond Pluto. The Nasa supported research has helped redefine the edge of our Solar System.



The discovery images of 2012 VP113. Each one was taken about two hours apart on Nov. 5, 2012. Behind the object, you can see background stars and galaxies that remained still (from Earth’s perspective) in the picture frame. Credit: Scott S. Sheppard: Carnegie Institution for Science



Today, astronomers announced the discovery of 2012 VP113, a world that, assuming its reflectivity is moderate, is 280 miles (450 kilometers) in size and orbiting even further away from the sun than Pluto or even the more distant Sedna (announced in 2004). If 2012 VP113 is made up mostly of ice, this would make it large (and round) enough to be a dwarf planet, the astronomers said.




The layout of the solar system, including the Oort Cloud, on a logarithmic scale. Credit: NASA



“The detection of 2012 VP113 confirms that Sedna is not an isolated object; instead, both bodies may be members of the inner Oort Cloud, whose objects could outnumber all other dynamically stable populations in the Solar System,” the authors wrote in their discovery paper, published today in Nature.

The Oort cloud (named after the Dutch astronomer Jan Oort, who first proposed it) is thought to contain a vast number of smallish, icy bodies. This NASA web page defines its boundaries as between 5,000 and 100,000 AUs, so 2012 VP113 obviously falls short of this measure.

The astronomers hypothesize that 2012 VP113 is part of a collection of “inner Oort cloud objects” that make their closest approach at a distance of more than 50 AU, a boundary that is thought to avoid any “significant” interference from Neptune. Orbits of these objects would range no further than 1,500 AU, a location hypothesized as part of the “outer Oort cloud” — the spot where “galactic tides start to become important in the formation process,” the team wrote.

“Some of these inner Oort cloud objects could rival the size of Mars or even Earth. This is because many of the inner Oort cloud objects are so distant that even very large ones would be too faint to detect with current technology,” stated Scott Sheppard, co-author of the paper and a solar system researcher at the Carnegie Institution for Science. (The lead author is the Gemini Observatory’s Chadwick Trujillo, who co-discovered several dwarf planets with the California Institute of Technology’s Mike Brown.)



(Planet X hopers: Note that NASA just released results from its Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer that found nothing Saturn’s size (or bigger) as far as 10,000 AU, and nothing bigger than Jupiter at 26,000 AU.)

source


“This discovery adds the most distant address thus far to our solar system’s dynamic neighborhood map,” said Kelly Fast, discipline scientist for NASA's Planetary Astronomy Program, Science Mission Directorate (SMD) at NASA Headquarters, Washington. “While the very existence of the inner Oort Cloud is only a working hypothesis, this finding could help answer how it may have formed.”

NASA article

Pretty awesome!
edit on 26-3-2014 by Jennyfrenzy because: add image info additional source




posted on Mar, 26 2014 @ 02:47 PM
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Commence the arguemnt on classification of planet, moon, roid et al.



posted on Mar, 26 2014 @ 02:49 PM
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reply to post by Jennyfrenzy
[mor

i just read about this is this the news we have been waiting for from the discovery in our outer sollar system sounds like nibiru



posted on Mar, 26 2014 @ 02:59 PM
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reply to post by zedy63
 


In the 80's I remember a discovery beyond Pluto as well, haha. I don't think this is Planet X though.
edit on 26-3-2014 by Jennyfrenzy because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 26 2014 @ 03:06 PM
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reply to post by Jennyfrenzy
 

yeah i also remember something in the eightys about that



posted on Mar, 26 2014 @ 03:32 PM
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Always love finding new things in our solar system.

I wonder if somewhere out there, there is a planet that can only be detected on say, the radio wave spectrum, or perhaps in the xray spectrum.

Now that would be crazy.



posted on Mar, 26 2014 @ 03:37 PM
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reply to post by AzureSky
 


I love it too!

That would be pretty crazy, pushing the edge even further.



posted on Mar, 26 2014 @ 03:42 PM
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reply to post by Jennyfrenzy
 


Planet X is still alive and kickin'



posted on Mar, 26 2014 @ 03:48 PM
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reply to post by ChesterJohn
 


Ahhhh!!! Tiny little Planet X coming our way, the Annunaki are returning!! Haha!!

Doubt this is Niburu



posted on Mar, 26 2014 @ 03:50 PM
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This is cool.

Will it maybe make Pluto an official planet again? I'd be all for that, though to me, Pluto always was and always will be a planet.



posted on Mar, 26 2014 @ 04:05 PM
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reply to post by Jennyfrenzy
 


The rate at which these minor planets are being discovered implies that there are 100's to 1000's out there.

There is still plenty to learn in our own neighborhood of space. If someone tells me something astronomical is impossible or certain, I LOL.



posted on Mar, 26 2014 @ 04:11 PM
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Btw in your image, the Ort cloud is hypothesised, not factual.



posted on Mar, 26 2014 @ 04:23 PM
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kathat
Btw in your image, the Ort cloud is hypothesised, not factual.


All those long-period comets have to come from somewhere! The fact that their trajectory takes them almost straight to the Sun (sometimes very very close), instead of just whizzing by through the Solar System, tells us that they originally orbited the Sun very slowly somewhere out there, and were nudged towards the Sun by gravitational force.

Also, comets (like asteroids or planets) don't just pop into existence; they would have formed together with planets and asteroids out of the protoplanetary disc around a star (in our case, the Sun), so they are part of that system to begin with.



posted on Mar, 26 2014 @ 04:24 PM
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wildespace

kathat
Btw in your image, the Ort cloud is hypothesised, not factual.


All those long-period comets have to come from somewhere! The fact that their trajectory takes them almost straight to the Sun (sometimes very very close), instead of just whizzing by through the Solar System, tells us that they originally orbited the Sun very slowly somewhere out there, and were nudged towards the Sun by gravitational force.

Also, comets (like asteroids or planets) don't just pop into existence; they would have formed together with planets and asteroids out of the protoplanetary disc around a star (in our case, the Sun), so they are part of that system to begin with.


Yes but it is still a hypothesis, still to be proven either confirmed or throw the theory out / revise it.

Theories have to fit facts, not facts fit theories.



posted on Mar, 26 2014 @ 04:25 PM
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Here's more on the object. They say it could be a super earth.


The similar orbits suggest a larger planet, dubbed a Super Earth because of its size, may be creating a shepherding effect on these objects

A huge planet ten times larger than Earth may be orbiting the sun at the edge of our solar system.

Researchers have discovered a dwarf planet called 2012 VP113, along with up to 900 other objects, are orbiting in a similar formation.

This suggests that a larger planet, dubbed a Super Earth because of its size, may be creating a shepherding effect pulling these objects around with it.

2012 VP113 is around half the diameter of dwarf planet Sedna, discovered a decade ago, and lies 80 times further from the sun than the Earth.

The similarity in the orbits for Sedna and 2012 VP113 points to an as yet undiscovered 'Super Earth'.

The two dwarf planets are among of thousands of objects believed to form the inner Oort cloud and were found to have a similar orbit, suggesting the presence of a planet up to 10 times the size of Earth.

Dr Linda Elkins-Tanton, of the Carnegie Institution in the United States, said: ‘This is an extraordinary result that redefines our understanding of our Solar System.’


Link

Interesting find.



posted on Mar, 26 2014 @ 05:10 PM
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reply to post by neoholographic
 


Here's more on the object. They say it could be a super earth.

No. They are not talking about the object which was discovered. They are talking about the possibility of another, as yet undiscovered, object.

This is based on the orbital characteristics of Sedna and 2012 VP113.



posted on Mar, 26 2014 @ 05:16 PM
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Jennyfrenzy
reply to post by zedy63
 


In the 80's I remember a discovery beyond Pluto as well, haha. I don't think this is Planet X though.
edit on 26-3-2014 by Jennyfrenzy because: (no reason given)


You may be remembering the discovery of Eris, but that was discovered in 2005. Eris is bigger than Pluto, and lies beyond Pluto. There are also other dwarf planets out beyond Eris, such as Sedna, Quaoar and Makemake.

It was the discovery of Eris in 2005 and other bodies, such as Sedna, that caused the demotion of Pluto from "Planet" to the newly-created (at the time) category of "Dwarf Planet". Astronomers knew that there are potentially dozens or hundreds of Pluto-like or Eris-like objects out there, so they all could not be planets (unless we wanted to have a solar system with dozens or hundreds of planets). Therefore, they created the new category to include bodies such as Eris, Pluto, Sedna, Quaoar, Makemake, Ceres, etc.

Eris Wikipedia


edit on 3/26/2014 by Soylent Green Is People because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 26 2014 @ 06:08 PM
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reply to post by Soylent Green Is People
 


That wasn't it, I was in elementary school at the time..can't find any info online about it. This was actually taught to my 3rd grade class, (I still remember the teachers name too) that Planet X was after Pluto.



posted on Mar, 27 2014 @ 08:04 AM
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No object of appreciable size necessary to be classed as "Planet X" was discovered before Eris. Your teacher may have been talking about a hypothetical planet beyond Pluto, based on apparent irregularities in the orbits of Neptune and Uranus. These "irregularities" essentially disappeared when the Voyager 2 flybys in 1986 and 1989 allowed astronomers to refine the masses of these two planets.



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