The Tenth Planet

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"The Tenth Planet"
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On July 30, 2005, the earliest discovery of a 10th planet was announced officially by Dr. Mike Brown, a planetary astronomer who worked at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, Californiaan individual whose work was partially funded by NASA. But presently the 10th planet theory is activity making its own news, and has nothing to do with the recent find of Brown. One is that scientists are actively challenging the 10th planet theory, possibly reverting Pluto back to its original status, a movement that is actively gathering strength in the astronomy and scientific fields. If the fact is accepted that Pluto (again) is a planet, then we have another 10th planet which may consist of the Planet X theory, the mysterious giant, unnamed planet that is supposedly on its own orbital path toward us. Those who support this theory are citing weather data and earthquakes influencing Earth. But other astronomers and those involved consider it a hugely controversial issue, which means so far it is not a subject out in the open.

So-at this present time the proved theory of the 10th planet is still considered to be Brown's Xena. The Samuel Oschin Telescope at the Palomar Observatory was the instrument used for the find, while astronomers challenged each other on what it actually consisted of, other than a chunk of ice and rock that was located in solar system, something larger than Pluto. This 10th planet actually made its official debut on September 13, 2006, when the International Astronomical Union made the planet's official name. Eriswhile its moon was officially named Dysnomia. This was done after a huge discussion developed about whether or not the planet was in actuality a planet, finally deciding that instead of the 10th planet it would be referred to as the largest known dwarf planet.

Technically known as the 2003 UB313, another Spanish team had made the announcement of the find before Brown's team, who had been waiting to analyze data from the Spitzer Space Telescope before making their own announcement. But immediately afterwards, Brown's team made an immediate announcement of two finds instead of their original one-two big TNOs: 2003 UB313 and 2005 FY9with the 2003 UB313 located three times further from the Sun as compared to Pluto. The huge space rock diameter is 1,490 miles while Pluto has a diameter of 1,422 miles both measured by Hubble as no earth telescopes are capable of measuring Xena as a point of light. What the Hubble proved was that the 2003 UB 313 was the second brightest object in the solar system. Saturn's moon Enceladus is first.

Another startling discovery on the 10th planet was its white brightness, with many scientists theorizing that the planet's atmosphere froze due to its furthest point from the Sun. As it moves closer to the Sun, this will decrease and its atmosphere will be restored. Another theory is that the planet is leaking methane from the inside of the planet, freezing when it touches any cold surface. So even though we have proof on the table of the existence of the 10th planet, the theory still remains somewhat of a mystery due to other circumstances, even though we actually have a 10th planet at this time!

More about this author: Nancy Houser

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