Whoa! There May Be Two Fucking Big-Ass Planets Out Past Pluto
The universe is so dope. Every time we think we have it somewhat figured out, it throws some crazy ass-shit in our face. Like it’s just toying with us.
But it really is amazing how little we know about space. Not in a “we’re so dumb” way, but in a space is so vast and complex and our tools for analyzing it (our telescopes and our brains) are just supremely inadequate in the face of the universe.
Take our own solar system. We don’t even know dick about it and it’s the closest thing to us. Sure, we think we do, talking all about the Oort Cloud and shit, but we really, really don’t. We are just clueless.
Like what we just learned this week. That past Pluto, there may be some really big fucking planets out there. How could that be? From NBC:
At least two planets larger than Earth likely lurk in the dark depths of space far beyond Pluto, just waiting to be discovered, a new analysis of the orbits of “extreme trans-Neptunian objects” (ETNOs) suggests.
Scientists used some crazy math science to determine what might be out there.
Theory predicts a certain set of details for ETNO orbits, study team members said. For example, they should have a semi-major axis, or average distance from the sun, of about 150 astronomical units (AU). (1 AU is the distance from Earth to the sun — roughly 93 million miles, or 150 million kilometers.) These orbits should also have an inclination, relative to the plane of the solar system, of almost 0 degrees, among other characteristics.
But the actual orbits of the 13 ETNOs are quite different, with semi-major axes ranging from 150 to 525 AU and average inclinations of about 20 degrees.
Uhhhh. What does that mean?
“This excess of objects with unexpected orbital parameters makes us believe that some invisible forces are altering the distribution of the orbital elements of the ETNOs, and we consider that the most probable explanation is that other unknown planets exist beyond Neptune and Pluto,” lead author Carlos de la Fuente Marcos, of the Complutense University of Madrid, said in a statement.
And they are fucking big. Bigger than us.
The potential undiscovered worlds would be more massive than Earth, researchers said, and would lie about 200 AU or more from the sun — so far away that they’d be very difficult, if not impossible, to spot with current instruments.
Imagine that. Huge planets circling our Sun, so far away we can’t even see them. Bet they are cold.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Space is so dope.