It is hard to know where things come from. If I drink a Belgian-style beer brewed in Colorado using hops from Washington state and I live in France, where did the beer actually come from? And what does that mean anyway? The cosmic situation is just as confusing. We know where the planets are right … More Did the Solar System form inside-out?
We are discussing the origins of Planet Nine. In part 1 we explored whether it could have been produced during an orbital instability in the early Solar System. In part 2 we showed that Planet Nine could have been captured from another star. Here we will explore another plausible idea that is a little less … More Planet Nine: Solar System renegade?
We are discussing the origins of Planet Nine. In part 1 we explored whether it could have been produced during an orbital instability in the early Solar System. Here we will explore a much more exotic origin. Scenario 2. Planet Nine is a planet that formed around another star and was captured by the Sun … More Planet Nine: an intruder among us?
It’s official: there might be an extra planet in the Solar System. It’s called Planet Nine. Like Hansel, it’s so hot right now. To find it you must trek past Uranus and Neptune into the dark reaches of the Solar System. It’s on an orbit hundreds of times larger than Earth’s, that takes 20,000 years … More Planet Nine: kicked out by the moody young Solar System?
Giraffes are covered in patches. The patches are brown and the space in between the patches is white. Everyone knows this. Here is something you probably didn’t know: you can see those patches in infrared light. In simple terms, infrared light measures heat (at least at the temperatures we are used to in everyday life). … More Giraffes and planets
A while back I performed an experiment called build a better Solar System. The game was to make better use of the Solar System’s habitable real estate. In the game I was required to keep all of the Solar System’s planets (and large moons) and their orbital configurations. Just by switching the orbits of different … More Building the ultimate Solar System
[UPDATE: a new series on building the ultimate Solar System starts here] The Solar System is a disappointment. It does contain an inhabited planet with forests and oceans and frisbees and beer (Earth). But it only has one. There are a couple worlds with some potential, but they are pretty disappointing too. Jupiter’s moons Europa … More Build a better Solar System