FROM Mike Brown
Move Over Pluto, Astronomers Say There's a New Planet in Town Ten years ago, astronomer’s shrunk the solar system by removing Pluto from the list of real planets. Now the solar system is getting bigger again. Artistic rendering of the distant view from Planet Nine back towards the sun. The planet is thought to be gaseous, similar to Uranus and Neptune. Image: Caltech/R. Hurt (IPAC) In the latest issue of Astronomical Journal astronomers from Caltech in Pasadena describe a massive object called Planet Nine, orbiting even farther away from the Sun than the former planet called Pluto. One author of today's article is Mike Brown, who also wrote the book How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming . Caltech professor Mike Brown and assistant professor Konstanin Batygin Photo: Lance Hayashida/Caltech
Pluto Demoted Last year, astronomers at Cal Tech discovered an object they called Xena--even bigger than Pluto, and also orbiting around the Sun. That set off an astronomical controversy. Are there really 10 planets? Today, the International Astronomical Union said, "No." Xena isn't a planet at all, and neither is Pluto. Planetary astronomer Mike Brown led the CalTech team that discovered Xena . (An extended discussion on this subject was originally aired earlier today on To the Point.)
Pluto, Planet or Plan Not? Since Pluto's discovery in 1930, there have been nine planets in the solar system, but a year ago, scientists at the California Institute of Technology said there were ten. An object they called Xena turned out to be bigger than Pluto and was also orbiting around the Sun. That set off an astronomical controversy that wasn't resolved until today, thanks to the International Astronomical Union . Planetary scientist Mike Brown led the Cal Tech Team that discovered Xena.
The longest US war: Will Trump send more troops to Afghanistan? The Trump White House is divided over the Pentagon's request for more troops in Afghanistan—where the US has been fighting for the past 16 years. Is there a formula -- either for "victory" or a political settlement? Is there an end in sight for America's longest war?
Will the Senate write a healthcare bill in secret? While Democrats and Republicans argue White House relations with Russia, another question is being decided behind closed doors: who gets help buying health insurance and who doesn't? We hear how the pros and cons are being shrouded in secrecy.
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?
The Trump agenda: where's the beef? President Trump says big things are happening. After celebrating a House bill on health care, he doesn’t yet have Senate agreement. With James Comey’s public testimony scheduled tomorrow, the President today tweeted his selection of a new FBI Director. Is the Chief Executive all style and no substance? Later, terror attacks in Iran and conflicting claims about who’s behind them.