Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

6/13/2014 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Smaller planets hint at existence of larger bodies farther out.

While astronomy enthusiasts have strong personal opinions about whether or not Pluto should be regarded as a planet,  Spanish astronomers think there's a bigger question to be answered lurking in the farthest reaches of the solar system. They think there could be at least two massive planets orbiting the sun at a distance so great, we cannot spot them.

There could be more planets beyond Pluto.

There could be more planets beyond Pluto.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

6/13/2014 (1 year ago)

Published in Technology

Keywords: Planets, planet X, Pluto


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - From Pluto and beyond, there exists a class of objects known as "minor planets." These small, rocky bodies are smaller than our moon, but sometimes larger than Pluto. They orbit like planets, for the most part, but there appears to be a pattern in their orbits that suggests something much larger is interacting with them.

The universe is governed by physical laws, most of which are quite well understood. These laws are so well understood that scientists can accurately infer the existence of other, unseen objects based on how visible objects behave. In this case, the behavior of smaller rocky minor planets such as Sedna and dwarf planet VP 113, hint at the presence of two larger planets in the outer fringes of the solar system.

St. Dominic de Guzman, patron saint of astronomers.

Spanish astronomers from the Complutense University of Madrid have noticed that these small rocky objects are moving in groups and appear to be getting tugged one way or another. The only way such behavior is possible is if there is another, much larger planet pulling at them, shepherding them into common orbits.

Based on current observations, astronomers estimate that a large planet, about 10 times the mass of Earth, lurks about 250 Astronomical Units (AU) from the Sun, or about 250 times the average distance between the Earth and Sun.

 A smaller planet, between the size of Mars and Saturn, looms a little closer, about 200 AU away.

These planets probably orbit in resonance with the rocky bodies that are being observed, just as Pluto and Neptune orbit in resonance. For example, Neptune makes three orbits around the Sun for every two of Pluto.

These distant planets would be large, but still difficult to spot because they would inhabit a corner of the solar system so far out that sunlight would barely hit their surface. In fact, the sun would only appear as a very bright star from those planets.

Still, their gravity could be detected and observed by watching their influence on closer, visible objects.

So are there two massive planets out there shepherding smaller planets in their orbits? It's too soon to know, and without direct observational evidence, scientists will remain skeptical. However, we can rest assured they're looking and if another planet or two are found, their discovery could recast Pluto as a very minor player in a much bigger play.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for June 2015
Universal:
That immigrants and refugees may find welcome and respect in the countries to which they come.
Evangelization: That the personal encounter with Jesus may arouse in many young people the desire to offer their own lives in priesthood or consecrated life.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More Technology

Hundreds of iPhone users hit with worrisome 'blue screen of death' Watch

Image of

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Complaints have piled up against Apple iPhones, reaching social media, after several iPhones of various models were hit by the "blue screen of death" just before rebooting without any notice. The random occurrences became somewhat of an outbreak, after people revealed ... continue reading


Samsung's amazing new technology promises to help lower car accident fatalities Watch

Image of

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Traffic accidents are horrifying and in an effort to prevent road accidents involving trucks, Samsung has introduced its new product, the "Safety Truck." The common response of drivers annoyed by a blocked view of a slow running big truck is they want to get ahead, but ... continue reading


Tokyo's Lexus creates levitating hoverboard -- A reality? Or another hoax? Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

You may find it hard to believe, but a working model for a hoverboard is actually here. The Tokyo branch of Lexus in Japan has developed a model for the hoverboard. It seems to act like magic - at least for now - as the hoverboard promises to carry a person using ... continue reading


Facial recognition technology taking over the world, even APPEARING IN CHURCHES Watch

Image of Facial recognition technology can identify you, even if you're not completely facing a camera.

By Linky C. (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Companies and events are utilizing facial recognition technology to identify a person's face, even if the face is partially hidden. Facebook uses their vast facial recognition database, which can recognize a face even when it's hidden. Google's new Photos app can now ... continue reading


Strange new COCKROACH ROBOT squeezes through impenetrable gaps Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A team of researchers from the University of California, Berkeley have created a robot based on a cockroach. The new technology is so innovative; it is hard not to find yourself stunned to witness the cockroach bot escape into an extremely miniscule gap. MUNTINLUPA, ... continue reading


Extra-terrestrial life exists - but not at Area 51 Watch

Image of There is life on other planets - but there are no little green men hiding out at Area 51, according to NASA Administrator Major Charles Bolden.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

There is life on other planets - but there are no little green men hiding out at Area 51, according to NASA Administrator Major Charles Bolden. He was on hand to greet a crowd of curious British schoolchildren, and said that there are so many planets like our ... continue reading


Is there water - and life on Europa, one of Jupiter's moons? Watch

Image of Jupiter is about 390 million miles from Earth when the two planets are at their closest.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Europa, one of Jupiter's larger moons, and is approximately the size of Earth's moon. Many astronomers say the moon has the greatest potential for life in our solar system. To this end, NASA is planning a more in-depth study and mission to this mysterious ... continue reading


Is a 706 MPG car possible? BMW hopes of creating stunning new electric car Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Several months after the release of BMW's i8 hybrid sports car, rumors are circulating about a new model. According to the rumors', the German automaker is currently focusing on the development of a more efficient model than the previous i8. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES ... continue reading


'Jurassic World' creates fear of bioengineered animals in real life Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

"Jurassic World," the fourth installment of Steven Spielberg's "Jurassic Park", took takes place on Isla Nubar. Fans will remember that Isla Nubar was where the first "Jurassic Park" movie took place, 22 years ago. "Jurassic World" showcases a world where dinosaurs ... continue reading


HALF HUMAN? Google engineer predicts humanity will be hybrid - by 2030's Watch

Image of By the time we get to the late 2030s or the early 2040s, Ray Kurzweil believes our thinking will be predominately non-biological . man becoming machine.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Google engineer and scarily accurate futurist Ray Kurzweil sees human consciousness gradually becoming part of an immense cloud and that humans will be able to "back up their brains" as a result. While this seems fantastical and hard to believe, Kurzweil ... continue reading


All Technology News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

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

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Genesis 21:5, 8-20
5 Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 34:7-8, 10-11, 12-13
7 The angel of Yahweh encamps around those who fear ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 8:28-34
28 When he reached the territory of the Gadarenes on ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 1st, 2015 Image

Bl. Junipero Serra
July 1: Miguel Jose Serra was born on the island of Majorca on November ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter