Tag Archives: Pluto

Astronomers Discovered Several Never-Before-Seen Objects Beyond the Orbit of Neptune

In the race to discover a proposed ninth planet in our Solar System, Carnegie’s Scott Sheppard and Chadwick Trujillo of Northern Arizona University have observed several never-before-seen objects at extreme distances from the Sun in our Solar System.

Sheppard and Trujillo have now submitted their latest discoveries to the International Astronomical Union’s Minor Planet Center for official designations. A paper about the discoveries has also been accepted to The Astronomical Journal.

The more objects that are found at extreme distances, the better the chance of constraining the location of the ninth planet that Sheppard and Trujillo first predicted to exist far beyond Pluto (itself no longer classified as a planet) in 2014.

The placement and orbits of small, so-called extreme trans-Neptunian objects can help narrow down the size and distance from the Sun of the predicted ninth planet, because that planet’s gravity influences the movements of the smaller objects that are far beyond Neptune. The objects are called trans-Neptunian because their orbits around the Sun are greater than Neptune’s.

In 2014, Sheppard and Trujillo announced the discovery of 2012 VP113 (nicknamed “Biden”), which has the most-distant known orbit in our Solar System.

At this time, Sheppard and Trujillo also noticed that the handful of known extreme trans-Neptunian objects all cluster with similar orbital angles. This led them to predict that there is a planet at more than 200 times our distance from the Sun. Its mass, ranging in possibility from several Earths to a Neptune equivalent, is shepherding these smaller objects into similar types of orbits.

Some have called this Planet X or Planet 9. Further work since 2014 showed that this massive ninth planet likely exists by further constraining its possible properties.

Analysis of “neighboring” small body orbits suggest that it is several times more massive than the Earth, possibly as much as 15 times more so, and at the closest point of its extremely stretched, oblong orbit it is at least 200 times farther away from the Sun than Earth. (This is over 5 times more distant than Pluto.)

“Objects found far beyond Neptune hold the key to unlocking our Solar System’s origins and evolution,” Sheppard explained. “Though we believe there are thousands of these small objects, we haven’t found very many of them yet, because they are so far away.

The smaller objects can lead us to the much bigger planet we think exists out there. The more we discover, the better we will be able to understand what is going on in the outer Solar System.”


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A New Planet Beyond Pluto? Sitchin is Still Wrong

I’ve been getting emails about the news that some scientists are claiming (note: a claim isn’t the same as established fact) that there is a very large planet beyond Pluto. This naturally excites Sitchinites and other ancient astronaut theorists who follow the work of the late Zecharia Sitchin. This excitement (again) illustrates the poor thinking that is synonymous with ancient astronaut theory. Why? Let’s assume the new is correct. Here’s why Sitchin is still wrong:

  1. If this planet is real, and no cuneiform tablet describes a planet by ANY name beyond Pluto, Sitchin’s claim that the Sumerians knew of such a body is still a fabrication. It is a demonstrable fact, from the content of astronomical tablets left to us that inform us of Sumerian-Mesopotamian astronomy (where else would we get that knowledge?), that the Mesopotamians didn’t know of any planet beyond Saturn (i.e., that could be viewed with the naked eye).
  2. Since there is no cuneiform tablet that associates Nibiru with a planet other than Mercury or Jupiter, Sitchin is still wrong.
  3. Since no cuneiform tablet has Nibiru (or any planet from beyond Pluto) cycling through earth’s orbit every 3600 years, Sitchin is still wrong.
  4. Since there is no cuneiform tablet that associates the Anunnaki with any planet at all, Sitchin is still wrong.

That wasn’t hard, was it? This discovery lends zero credibility to Sitchin’s ideas.

But wait . . .  there’s more.

Here’s the bonus. Such a discovery would actually undermine Sitchin’s claims, disproving them again. Why? If Sitchinites care to do the math on the orbit of the (presumed) new planet, they’ll find that it cannot cycle through earth’s orbit every 3600 years. Oops.

So yes: Sitchin is still wrong.

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Mystery Object On Pluto is ‘Likely a Dirty Block of Water Ice,’ Says NASA

Mystery Object On Pluto is 'Likely a Dirty Block of Water Ice, Says NASA 12-24-15
Transmitted to Earth on Dec. 24, 2015, this image from the Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) extends New Horizons’ highest-resolution swath of Pluto to the center of Sputnik Planum, the informally named plain that forms the left side of Pluto’s “heart.” Mission scientists believe the pattern of the cells stems from the slow thermal convection of the nitrogen-dominated ices. The darker patch at the center of the image is likely a dirty block of water ice “floating” in denser solid nitrogen, and which has been dragged to the edge of a convection cell. Also visible are thousands of pits in the surface, which scientists believe may form by sublimation.


      “X” marks the spot of some intriguing surface activity in the latest picture of Pluto returned from NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft.

Transmitted to Earth on Dec. 24, this image from the Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) extends New Horizons’ highest-resolution views of Pluto to the very center of Sputnik Planum, the informally named icy plain that forms the left side of Pluto’s “heart” feature.

Sputnik Planum is at a lower elevation than most of the surrounding area by a couple of miles, but is not completely flat. Its surface is separated into cells or polygons 10 to 25 miles (16 to 40 kilometers) wide, and when viewed at low sun angles (with visible shadows), the cells are seen to have slightly raised centers and ridged margins, with about 100 yards (100 meters) of overall height variation.

Mission scientists believe the pattern of the cells stems from the slow thermal convection of the nitrogen-dominated ices that fill Sputnik Planum. A reservoir that’s likely several miles or kilometers deep in some places, the solid nitrogen is warmed at depth by Pluto’s modest internal heat, becomes buoyant and rises up in great blobs, and then cools off and sinks again to renew the cycle.

“This part of Pluto is acting like a lava lamp,” said William McKinnon, deputy lead of the New Horizons Geology, Geophysics and Imaging team, from Washington University in St. Louis, “if you can imagine a lava lamp as wide as, and even deeper than, the Hudson Bay.”

Computer models by the New Horizons team show that these blobs of overturning solid nitrogen can slowly evolve and merge over millions of years. The ridged margins, which mark where cooled nitrogen ice sinks back down, can be pinched off and abandoned. The “X” feature is likely one of these—a former quadruple junction where four convection cells meet. Numerous, active triple junctions can be seen elsewhere in the LORRI mosaic.

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NASA’s New Horizons Spots Mystery Rogue Planet Beyond Pluto

Something strange emerged when Scott S. Sheppard (Carnegie Institution for Science) and his colleague, Chad Trujillo of the Gemini Observatory, compiled data for the orbits of Sedna, 2012 VP113 and 10 icy objects that lie close to Pluto.

Similarities in the 12 objects’ paths around the sun strongly suggest that all 12 are under the spell of a hulking, far-distant planet, Sheppard says.

This planet, if it exists, is up to 10 times as massive as Earth and 200 to 1,000 times as far from the sun. It’s so big that it has forced the smaller bodies, which like to keep away from large ones, into unexpected paths.

This super-Earth may have begun its life in the central solar system before becoming a “rogue planet,” ejected from its birthplace to exile in the outermost solar system. It may have pulled Sedna and 2012 VP113 along with it from their homes closer to the sun.

From the amount of sky area searched, Trujillo and Sheppard determine that about 900 objects with orbits like Sedna and 2012 VP113 are out there with sizes larger than 1000 km and that the total population of the inner Oort cloud is likely bigger than the Kuiper Belt and main asteroid belt.

Some of these inner Oort cloud objects could rival the size of Mars or Earth. This is because most of the inner Oort cloud objects are so distant that even very large ones would be too faint to detect with current technology”, says Sheppard.

And recently, Nasa’s New Horizon’s probe also captured another mysterious object, a 90-mile (150-kilometer)-wide ancient body, officially called 1994 JR1 passing through the Kuiper Belt 3.3 billion miles from the sun. See first video. The spacecraft is on course for a close flyby of another Kuiper Belt object, 2014 MU69, on Jan. 1, 2019.


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New Research on Nibiru Shows Sitchin is Still Wrong

I recently received this short note in email about some work done in the cuneiform sources regarding Nibiru:

Dear Dr. Heiser,

I have analyzed the extant cuneiform evidence in the peer-reviewed publication “The Marduk Star Nebiru” (CDLI Bulletin 2015:3).
I conclude that the hypothesis that the name Nēbiru may be assigned to any visible astronomical object that marks an equinox is supported by cuneiform evidence.   It is clear to me  that Zechariah Sitchin was confused by earlier translations.
Immanuel Freedman, Ph.D. SMIEEE
Member, International Association for Assyriology
CDLI = Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative at UCLA.  The article / PDF at the above link is their bulletin. It’s only four pages, and of course verifies what I posted many years ago, that cuneiform tablets do not have Nibiru as a 12th planet beyond Pluto.
My thanks to Dr. Freedman for this notification and link!


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Pyramid Structures Discovered On Pluto’s Moon Charon

NASA has released the first highest-resolution images of Pluto’s largest moon, Charon, revealing grooves and impact craters, which are similar to the surface of our planet’s Moon.

The photos were taken by the Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) aboard the New Horizons interplanetary space probe on July 12.

Taken shortly before the spacecraft’s closest approach to Pluto, the images resolve details as small as 310 meters.

The first picture, released by the US space agency, was a mosaic, in which “the view moves from rugged cratered terrain, across the great faulted canyons of the Serenity Chasma, and onto the resurfaced plains of Vulcan Planum, both informally named.”

Link image: https://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/thumbnails/image/pluto-moon-charon-up-close-2.png

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Aliens Living Under Pluto’s Crust?

Aliens Living Under Pluto's Crust?

By Andrew Griffin

      Pluto’s crust could have alien life living underneath it, according to Brian Cox.

The dwarf planet’s surface is made up of a crust, which includes huge icy mountains, that is very unlikely to have anything living on it. But underneath that could be warm oceans, which might be able to support life, the physicist has said.


The probe “showed you that there may well be a subsurface ocean on Pluto, which means — if our understanding of life on Earth is even slightly correct — that you could have living things there,” Cox told The Times.[…]

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Pluto Fly-By Conspiracies: More Pseudo-Science


The fly-by photographs taken of Pluto as part of NASA’s New Horizons mission to gather data on Pluto have been all the rage on the internet. Naturally, not everything has gone as expected; there have been technical glitches. Equally as normative, voices on the internet conclude that any glitch must mean a NASA conspiracy. Richard Hoagland, most famous for promoting the “face on Mars” for decades believes that something fishy is going on to conceal evidence of ET intelligence via artifacts on Pluto. What else?

Stuart Robbins, the force behind the Exposing PseudoAstronomy has managed to stay on top of all the conspiracy theories spawned by the New Horizons mission. Here’s Stuart’s summary of what Richard Hoagland thinks about Pluto:

1. The Pluto system is young or artificial: Because no rings or tiny moons have yet been found, as was predicted (and therefore “MUST” be found IF the system is natural), then the bodies are either made of material that does not produce rings or tiny moons (ergo artificial) OR it’s incredibly young (ergo artificial).

2. Richard thinks it was created by a Type II civilization (can harness the energy of a solar system) that died 65 million years ago and so isn’t enough time to accumulate rings / tiny moons. It has archives/libraries where our “true” history is stored, and it didn’t suffer from the exploding planet that created the asteroid belt at that time which is also why neither Pluto nor Charon should have many craters.

3. He expects the “regular, geometric patterns” that are evidence of this civilization to be prominent. He also thinks the cantaloupe terrain on Triton is buildings buried by methane ice that NASA released but just never mentioned, and he expects to see more of it on Pluto.

4. “We’ve already found some staggering, repeating, right-angle geometry that has no business being there, and yet no one has commented about it because they don’t know what to say!”

5. The “weird computer outage” was a warning to NASA to not show what’s really there … from “somebody.”

Here’s an archive of Stuart’s eight (as of this evening) podcasts chronicling the mission and debunking the pseudo-scientific conspiracy talk that has accrued to it.

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