Archive for January 26, 2016

01/26/2016 – Ephemeris – Planet X

January 26, 2016 Comments off

Ephemeris for Tuesday, January 26th.  The Sun will rise at 8:08.  It’ll be up for 9 hours and 33 minutes, setting at 5:42.   The Moon, 3 days past full, will rise at 8:44 this evening.

Last week Dr. Mike Brown and Konstantin Batygin announced that they have good cause to suspect that there is a Neptune sized planet lurking in the outer Kuiper Belt,  perhaps 1,000 AU or a 1,000 times the Earth’s distance from the sun.  In miles that comes to a possible distance of 100 billion miles from the sun. The evidence is the odd similarity of the orbits of six Kuiper belt objects, including the best known Sedna, whose closest points of their orbits to the Sun, called perihelia are remarkably close together.  Planet X is not a name, but a placeholder for something unknown, like X in an equation, which will be replaced by a real designation if found and confirmed.  So no, Planet X has not been found, but as Sherlock Holmes would say: the game is afoot.

Times are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.


Suspected Planet X Orbit

The obit off to the right is the suspected orbit of the unknown body dubbed Planet X or Planet 9. Credit: Mike Brown and Konstantin Batygin.

Links to explore this further from reliable sources are:  Universe TodayThe Planetary Society, and Phil Plait’s Bad Astronomy.