Possible Ninth Planet


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As you probably know, Pluto (the celestial body, not Micky Mouse's dog) has been downgraded from planet status. However there are now indirect indications that there is a genuine 9 th planet. It has not been seen, but its existence is inferred from the motions of other celestial bodies. If this planet exists it has about ten times the mass of earth and a rather eccentric orbit. It is suppose to be about 1200 AU out from the sun (AU = earth-sun average distance). Even with our best telescopes it will be hard to see. It is out there in the Kuyper Belt (if it exists) and it is so far out that it would take over 15,000 years to orbit the sun.

Telescopic detection will be difficult (do you recall how hard it was to see the former 9 th planet Pluto?). If it is definitely spotted it will take several clear sightings with the bearings to establish the orbit of the planet. Even if the planet is seen by telescope ti will show up only as a small number of pixels on the image devices and details of the planet will be hard to come by. Eventually a probe would have to be sent to get details. But first, let us see the object.

Please see http://www.space.com/31671-planet-nine-discovery-explained-infographic.html

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Epistemologically, this is a good example of Aristotelian "possible to be" from De Interpretatione. From Objectivism (of course, largely based off of Aristotelianism), this would be an example of a "probable" when moving along the uncertainty-to-certainty scale.

An exciting announcement, historically

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It seems certainly scientifically probable, but empirically it's either there or it ain't

There is enough indicative evidence to justify some effort looking for it with out telescopes. Back in the 30's Tombaugh had less to go on when he looked for Pluto. But he found it.



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