Skip to content

IT'S A GIRL? Astronomers discover a new, PINK planet in our own solar system!

By Marshall Connolly (Catholic Online)
3/27/2014 (3 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The new planet, dubbed for VP Biden, is pink.

Astronomers have discovered yet another dwarf planet to add to our solar system's count. Orbiting 83 times the distance between the Earth and the Sun, the new planet doesn't even have a name. It is hypothesized that it may just be one of hundreds such dwarf planets.

Many of the distant worlds appear pink, likely because of their icy composition.

Many of the distant worlds appear pink, likely because of their icy composition.

Highlights

By Marshall Connolly (Catholic Online)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
3/27/2014 (3 years ago)

Published in Technology

Keywords: 2012 Vp 113, planet, dwarf planet, discovery, kupier belt


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Most of us grew up being taught there were nine planets in our solar system. However, the discovery of four dwarf planets (plus Pluto itself and a new one makes the total, six) prompted astronomers to demote Pluto to the rank on "minor planet" as opposed to a proper planet.

Pluto was recently discovered to be one of many other similar-sized bodies orbiting the Sun at an incredible distance that ranges from 30 Astronomical Units (AU), which is the average distance between the Earth and Sun, and out to 83 AU, and likely much farther.

St. Dominic, patron saint of astronomers.

These tiny planets are too large to be comets, but too small and icy to be planets, therefore they are called "dwarf planets." For comparison, Pluto is smaller than the Moon.

All of these dwarf planets orbit in what's known as the Kupier Belt, a doughnut-shaped ring of small icy bodies. This should not be confused with the Oort cloud, which is even more distant at about 50,000 AU from the Sun and where comets appear to come from.

The latest discovery is of dwarf planet "2012 VP 113" and it is believed to be pink, of all colors. The VP designation has astronomers referring to the new planet as "Biden," after the sitting Vice President.

Despite the presidential-level humor, the discovery underscores a shortcoming with our understanding of our own solar system. It may seem counter-intuitive, but we actually know more about other galaxies and the universe itself than perhaps our own cosmic backyard.

Scientists suspect there could be hundreds of minor planets in orbit around the Sun, but we have only discovered six of them. They also theorize there could even be a much larger planet shepherding hundreds of smaller bodies around the outer solar system. These are educated guesses, the reality is, nobody knows for sure yet.

The reason for this anomaly in knowledge is actually simple. Stars and galaxies produce their own light, allowing us to view them from incredible distances, in some cases across all of space and time itself. However, objects in the most distant reaches of our solar system emit no light, and simply reflect what little light they get from the Sun, which at 83 AU is just a tawny point in an ink-black sky.

For that light to be detected on Earth requires careful observation with powerful telescopes. It can be done, however the observations are painstaking and there's a lot of sky to cover.

Ultimately, astronomers hope the discovery of 2012 VP 113 will be just one of many more such discoveries in the years to come. Astronomers would like to complete the map of the solar system which would allow them to discover precisely how it was formed, and to assess if such formations are typical throughout the galaxy. If so, which they strongly suspect, it has implications for the most existential questions of our existence.

The knowledge that arises from this discovery could even help us anticipate if we are alone in the universe.

---


'Help Give every Student and Teacher FREE resources for a world-class Moral Catholic Education'


Copyright 2018 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for FEBRUARY 2018
Say 'No' to Corruption.
That those who have material, political or spiritual power may resist any lure of corruption.


Comments


More Technology

Do these paintings show ancient aliens visited Earth? What does the Church say? Watch

Image of NASA has been asked to take a look at some notable petroglyphs in India.

The evidence is mounting that we are not alone in the universe and that we may have been, and could still be, regularly visited by ... continue reading


Falcon Heavy launches humanity's fourth car into space, and other facts you didn't know Watch

Image of DON'T PANIC!

Faith, the Olympics, and spaceflight all unite the world. Even when we compete, even when we celebrate our diversity, these three things ... continue reading


Twitter to ban 'way of talking' - could this include Christian speech? Watch

Image of Social media sites are increasing censorship, but will it affect Christian speech too?

Social media censorship is on the rise, prompting fears that Christian speech could be stifled. Recently, a Twitter engineer was caught on ... continue reading


Government official confirms aliens are real, so now what? Watch

Image of The aliens are real. So now what?

A couple weeks ago, Luis Elizondo, the former Pentagon head of a virtual X-Files program within the Department of Defense, broke the ... continue reading


Declassified video may be best evidence yet of UFOs Watch

Image of Infrared footage from the camera suggests the video is authentic.

Last week, a story surged in the media that may serve as the best evidence yet that Earth is being visited by extraterrestrials. While most ... continue reading


Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Information
Learn about Catholic world

Catholic Online
Inform - Inspire - Ignite

Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained

Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need

Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online

Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye

Daily Reading
Today's bible reading

Lent / Easter
Death & resurrection of Jesus

Advent / Christmas
Birth of Jesus

Rest of Catholic Online
All Catholic world we offer

Services
Products and services we offer

Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books

The California Network
Inspiring streaming service

Advertise on Catholic Online
Your ads on catholic.org

Catholic Online Email
Email with Catholic feel

Catholic Online Singles
Safe, secure Catholic dating

The California Studios
World-class post production service

Education
Learn the Catholic way

Catholic Online School
Free Catholic education for all

Student Classes
K-12 & Adult Education Classes

School Teachers
Teacher lesson plans & resources

Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education

Socials
Connect with us online

Catholic Online on Facebook
Catholic social network

Catholic Online on Twitter
Catholic Tweets

Catholic Online on YouTube
Enjoy our videos

Catholic Online on Instagram
Shared Catholic moments

Catholic Online on Pinterest
Catholic ideas style inspiration

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2018 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2018 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.