Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

6/13/2014 (11 months 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 (11 months 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 May 2015
Universal:
That, rejecting the culture of indifference, we may care for our neighbours who suffer, especially the sick and the poor.
Evangelization: That Mary's intercession may help Christians in secularized cultures be ready to proclaim Jesus.


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


Comments


More Technology

Flickr's auto-tagging feature creates racist and discriminating stirs Watch

Image of Instead of tagging a photo of a woman wearing a white mask as

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pictures are known to capture people's lives, nature and other events in history. This is the reason why Flickr, Yahoo's photo sharing / social networking site has become so popular amongst those who are found of taking snap shots of everything and anything ... continue reading


3 things Christians must refrain from posting about on Facebook Watch

Image of Be careful what you post on your Facebook.

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Christians are becoming more and more active in the use of technology, as well as within participation on social media. While it is obvious that the trend of social networking has its scary downsides, it is also serving as one of the most popular platform to share ... continue reading


Feeling ill? Wi-Fi may be to blame for mysterious illnesses Watch

Image of Wi-fi sensitivity may be a real illness caused by wireless networks.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Do you use Wi-Fi on a regular basis? If you're using any sort of modern technology, that answer is yes, and while it certainly makes daily life easier, there may be a hidden danger. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to Suzanne Hoyt, during an interview ... continue reading


Warning: Porn will currently not be blocked from Oculus' headset Watch

Image of

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Rift, Virtual Reality (VR) headset from Facebook-owned Oculus, is an open platform that owners can manipulate and use for whatever software they want, according to Palmer Luckey, the founder of Oculus. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - As of the moment, there ... continue reading


A new danger in the skies? Hacker takes control of airplane's engine mid-flight Watch

Image of A cyber security expert is being investigated by the F.B.I. because of a hacking incident which occurred in April, where an airplane's engines were hacked in flight.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A new document filed in U.S. federal court reveals that an airplane's engines were hacked mid-flight by a well known American hacker, using of all things, its inflight entertainment system. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Chris Roberts, a cyber security ... continue reading


Technology takes us one step closer to immortality Watch

Image of In the future, a person may be able to store their brain on a hard drive so they can seemingly live forever.

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Through modern technology, it is now possible to upload a brain to a computer. Martine Rothblatt and Ray Kurweil believe that human beings can actually live forever through the utilization of technological advancements. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


Are you sure they are safe? Google's self-driving cars to hit the road this summer - to expected indifference Watch

Image of Google's self-driving cars, a squat two-seater is intended to shepherd fleets of vehicles that can drive with no need for human intervention.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Google is set to unveil and sent out on to Northern Californian driveways their self-driving cars. While sounding fun and futuristic, the cars - dubbed by some as "clown cars" or "koala cars," are expected to met with mass indifference. Only 25 of the said ... continue reading


Why didn't Dell or HP do this? $9 computer raises $1 million on Kickstarter Watch

Image of Always with a keen eye on miniaturization, both in size and price, the computer world is looking towards CHIP with abiding interest.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

All it costs is $9, and it plugs into existing desktop setups. Called the CHIP, the tiny computer that could has raised more than $1 million in just five short days on Kickstarter. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The 2.5-inch motherboard costs about the same ... continue reading


Internet domain names to be privatized by year's end Watch

Image of Fadi Chehade, the head of the nonprofit group expressed confidence that it would be privatized and out of U.S. government control by year's end.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

With concerns over privacy and interference in everyday lives, at least one thing is escaping the control of the United States government -- Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN will be free of U.S. government oversight by the end of ... continue reading


Will Google's army of evil robots arise to subjugate, destroy all of humanity? Watch

Image of While both Google cofounder Larry Page and Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk enjoy a warm relationship, Musk has expressed his concerns that Page might just lead to the destruction of humanity, as we know it.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While both Google co-founder Larry Page and Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk enjoy a warm relationship, Musk has expressed his concerns that Page might just lead to the destruction of humanity, as we know it. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "I'm really worried ... 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, Sirach 17:19-27
19 Their actions are all as plain as the sun to him, ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 32:1-2, 5, 6, 7
1 [Of David Poem] How blessed are those whose offence ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 10:17-27
17 He was setting out on a journey when a man ran up, ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for May 25th, 2015 Image

St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi
May 25: It would be easy to concentrate on the mystical experiences God ... 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