Theory: Solar system has another planet
Lafayette, La. (UPI) Feb 16, 2011
A planet, possibly four times the mass of Jupiter and with a lunar system, could be lurking in our solar system's outermost area, two U.S. scientists theorize.
University of Louisiana researchers said if "Tyche" exists, the confirmed number of planets in our solar system would return to nine, with Pluto remaining a dwarf planet, DiscoveryNews.com reported Wednesday.
Astrophysicists John Matese and Daniel Whitmire analyzed comets passing through the inner solar system, discovering many of them had strange orbits.
The scientists said they believe the comets' orbits could be affected by the potential mystery planet, composed of hydrogen and helium, likely sucked into our solar system after being formed around another star.
Matese and Whitmire have been trying to track down Tyche's existence since 1999, but the majority of the astronomical community hasn't expressed confidence about Tyche's existence, DiscoveryNews.com said.
Ned Wright, principal investigator for NASA's Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer mission, told DiscoveryNews the theory behind Tyche is based on "ordinary evidence for an extraordinary claim."
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Launch Plus Five Years: A Ways Traveled, A Ways To Go
Boulder CO (SPX) Jan 24, 2011
It's been five years since New Horizons roared into the Florida skies - speeding from Earth faster than any spacecraft before it - and began its journey to the unexplored regions of the planetary frontier. Today, with New Horizons more than halfway through its voyage to Pluto, mission team members look back on the historic launch and a few of the events since. "Five years in flight already ... read more
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