The Rabbit Hole - Conspiracy, Cosmic Events, Earth Changes, and the Return of the Destroyer, Planet X, Nemesis.

Searching for a 10th Planet
Astronomy

Oct 1982

The hunt for new worlds hasn't ended. Both Uranus and Neptune follow irregular paths that observers can explain only by assuming the presence of an unknown body whose gravity tugs at the two planets. Astronomers originally though Pluto might be the body perturbing its neighbors, but the combined mass of Pluto and its moon, Charon, is too small for such a role. ... While astronomers believe that something is out there, they aren't sure what it is. Three possibilities stand out: First, the object could be a planet - but any world large and close enough to affect the orbits of Uranus and Neptune should already have been spotted. Searchers might have missed the planet, though, if it's unusually dark or has an odd orbit. ...

NASA has been recording velocities for a year now and will continue for as long as necessary. This past spring, it appeared that budget cuts might force the end of the Pioneer project. The space agency now believes that it will have the money to continue mission operations. Next year, the JPL group will begin analyzing the data. By the time the Pioneer experiment shows results, an Earth-orbiting infrared telescope may have discovered the body. ... Together, IRAS and the Pioneers will allow astronomers to mount a comprehensive search for new solar system members. The two deep space probes should detect bodies near enough to disturb their trajectories and the orbits or Uranus and Neptune. IRAS should detect any large body in or near the solar system. Within the next year or two, astronomers may discover not one new world, but several.
 

   

   

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