…did not see this coming.
Some of you may remember attempting to learn the order of the solar system’s planets growing up. Our instructors all had very amusing sentences to help us remember (“My Very Educated/Excellent Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas”). Then all of a sudden we get the hang of it and this guy by the name of Neil deGrasse Tyson decides to shake things up by discrediting Pluto as a planet. Now Mother just serves us Noodles instead. And I was really enjoying those Pizzas.
Before you get all up in a tiff, see what he had to say in this Time article. If you read farther down, you will find this “Pluto Killer” wasn’t coming up with a new theory: many scientists were speculative of Pluto deserving the title “planet” since the 1970s. Tyson says not to worry about memorization or determining what is or is not a planet: it’s not scientific to think of it that way. He says,
“in science, memorization is not the ticket to understanding, and so, given that fact, why not teach it in a way that fosters insight into the form and structure of the solar system?”
So with this in mind we move to present day where new celestial bodies are being found and contested over their “planet-ness.”
This image shows what is being referred to as 2012 VP113, the name I was planning on reserving for my firstborn. 2012 VP113 was found far beyond Pluto’s orbit, in what scientists are calling “the inner oort cloud,” a system that isn’t of our own rotation.
The image above shows the location of 2012 VP113 as it relates to other objects in the night sky. Photos were taken of the sky in the span of 2 hours and movement was recorded, indicating the “star” was in orbit. The photo below may illustrate this point better.
The red dot indicates the first photo, the green the second, and the blue the third. All the other stars appear white because the colors overlapped showing they were not moving with the star. The article discussing this most recent discovery contains an interesting quote by Chadwick Trujillo, a scientist in the Gemini Observatory in Hawaii. he said
“These two objects are just the tip of the iceberg. They exist in a part of the solar system that we used to think was pretty devoid of matter. It just goes to show how little we actually know about the solar system.”
Maybe most striking of this discovery is the scientific possibility of bigger beings existing in the further parameters of space.
Tell me what you think.