The Tenth Planet

Paper Rating: Word Count: 992 Approx Pages: 4

Astronomers at Australia's Royal Observatory assisted John Murray in the astronomical equivalent of the hunt for the White Whale. Murray believes that there is a tenth planet that's a thousand more times further than Pluto is. It may be as much as 10 times more massive than Jupiter that's if it exists.

Murray believes he has a good reason to believe that there is a tenth planet. He first started to believe it when he was studying comets and suddenly noticed that an improbable large number of them top out at about the same distance from the sun, roughly 3 trillion to 4.5 trillion miles away. Murray found their motions to be even more peculiar when he zeroed in on the 13 comets with the most accurately established orbits. "They all aligned along a band, as would be expected if they had been perturbed by some large body. The odds of this happening by chance are 1,700 to one, he says. (Pg. 76)

Murray worked backwards from the 13 orbits and tracked Planet X to a region of the sky centered on the time constellation Delphinus, located in the northern sky. In a single snapshot, the telescope took in 40 square degrees of sky and at least 100,000 stars. One could be planet X. Murray hopes to match one... Continue Reading