To snatch a planet ..

The non amateur stuff. Hawking, black holes, that sort of thing

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brian livesey
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To snatch a planet ..

Post by brian livesey »

Did the Sun capture Planet Nine from another star? Assuming that the planet exists to explain the gravitational effects recently discovered on some Kuiper belt objects, scientists at Lund University in Sweden have completed computer simulations that suggest it's highly likely that the supposed planet originated in another solar system.
The theory is that 4.5 billion years ago, when our Sun had newly formed, it captured Planet Nine from a nearby star:
"Planet Nine may have be 'shoved' by other planets, and when it ended up in an orbit that was too wide around its own star, our Sun may have ... stolen it," Astronomer Alexander Mustill at Lund University wrote in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. "While astronomers often find exoplanets hundreds of light years away, there's probably one hiding in our own backyard" he said.
Last edited by brian livesey on Thu Jul 07, 2016 3:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Cliff
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Re: To catch a planet ..

Post by Cliff »

Dear Brian
It's all very mind boggling for me - A planet "9" that possibly (arguably probably) exists, may have been captured by our Sun, perhaps 4.5 billion years ago, from an unknown star that might have happened to be flying by. When I got my first proper telescope in 1987 my initial hope was that the (8.5 inch Newtonian) would enable me to see what I thought was planet "9". Eventually seeing Pluto was an ambition achieved. There were no known exoplanets then now it seems there are hundreds of 'um but no proper planet 9 for certain and poor old Pluto is just pluto.
Best wishes from Cliff
brian livesey
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Re: To catch a planet ..

Post by brian livesey »

It's interesting Cliff that you saw Pluto in the 8.5" Newt. Was that from the depths of Prestwich too? And do you still have the 'scope?
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Cliff
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Re: To catch a planet ..

Post by Cliff »

Dear Brian
I reckon I visually observed Pluto three times all told, twice from Prestwich and once from the Pennine Moors - but it wasn't easy from Prestwich. I'd need to check in my old observation books to be sure, but they are stored away & awkward to get at. From what I remember I made quite a few attempts before I decided I'd found it. Then it took me quite a long time before I found it again. Needless to say I only succeeded when sky conditions were at their best here - with 8.5 inch newt. After that I didn't bother with Pluto visually, although I imaged it several times from Prestwich which I found easy.
Ironically when I got my 8.5 inch newt one of the first Deep Sky Objects I went for was M1 - the reason being that when I was a youngster (with a 30mm refractor) I was a bit naffed off because I couldn't find M1 but I could find M42 & M45 easily and logically to me then (living in Stalybridge in those days with little light pollution) that it should be easier to find M1 than higher numbers like M45. So many years later, when I got my 8.5inch newt, M1 was one of the first things I tried to find and found it extremely hard. Indeed I suspected seeing M1 a few times but could never be sure. Then I went up on the Pennines it took me about 3 minutes to find M1 quite easily.
No I don't have the 8.5 inch newt - I sold it when I stopped night sky observing a few years ago.
Best wishes from Cliff
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