31 Jul '17, 5pm

Is There a Giant Planet Lurking Beyond Pluto?

This history of clumsy planetary detections hasn’t deterred Batygin and Brown. Since 2001, Brown has led in the discovery of three dozen trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs) in and beyond the Kuiper Belt, a huge ring of icy planetoids that lies outside the orbit of Neptune. Three of Brown’s finds—Eris, Haumea, and Makemake—have officially attained the rank of dwarf planet , alongside Pluto. Others, such as Sedna, Orcus, and Quaoar, are next in line for that honor. (By one definition, a planet demonstrates gravitational dominance, snaring nearby objects or flinging them away as it orbits a star. A dwarf planet, on the other hand, has a gravitational field too weak to affect nearby objects to the same degree.)

Full article: http://spectrum.ieee.org/aerospace/satellites/is-there-a-...

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