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.
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