Planet 10? Another Earth-Size World May Lurk in the Outer Solar System
A planet-size object may be orbiting the sun in the icy reaches of the solar system beyond Pluto.
Scientists at the University of Arizona’s Lunar and Planetary Laboratory (LPL) have determined that an unseen object with a mass somewhere between that of Earth and Mars could be lurking in the Kuiper Belt, a region beyond Neptune filled with thousands of icy asteroids, comets and dwarf planets.
In January 2016, a separate group of scientists predicted the existence of a Neptune-size planet orbiting the sun far, far beyond Pluto — about 25 times farther from the sun than Pluto is. This hypothetical planet was dubbed “Planet Nine,” so if both predictions are correct, one of these putative objects could be the solar system’s 10th planet.
NASA releases Kepler survey catalog with hundreds of new planet candidates
NASA’s Kepler space telescope team has released a mission catalog of planet candidates that introduces 219 new candidates, 10 of which are near-Earth size and orbiting in their star’s habitable zone, which is the range of distance from a star where liquid water could pool on the surface of a rocky planet.
This is the most comprehensive and detailed catalog release of candidate exoplanets, which are planets outside our solar system, from Kepler’s first four years of data. It’s also the final catalog from the spacecraft’s view of the patch of sky in the Cygnus constellation.
With the release of this catalog, derived from data publicly available on the NASA Exoplanet Archive, there are now 4,034 planet candidates identified by Kepler. Of those, 2,335 have been verified as exoplanets. Of roughly 50 near-Earth size habitable zone candidates detected by Kepler, more than 30 have been verified.
POSTED 6:18 AM, MAY 3, 2017, BY TRIBUNE MEDIA WIRE
With all the buzz about the total solar eclipse this summer, some may have forgotten that a meteor shower is set to peak this week.
The annual Eta Aquarid meteor shower is usually active between April 19 and May 28. This year, it will peak around May 5 or May 6.
The best time to view the shower will be during the early morning of May 6, just before dawn, NASA Meteoroid Environment Office lead Bill Cooke told Space.com. Cooke said as many as 30 meteors per hour can be expected.
People living in the Northern Hemisphere should look toward the southern horizon. People in the Southern Hemisphere should look north. People living near the equator, or even as far as Gulf Coast cities, will get the best views of the shower.
Want to see the shower without hurting your neck? Experts say you should lie on your back – not only will it give you the most expansive view of the sky, but no neck-craning is necessary.
Where did the Eta Aquarid meteor shower come from?
The Eta Aquarids is one of two meteor showers created by debris from Halley’s Comet. Meteor showers happen when dust grains burn up in Earth’s atmosphere.
The Earth will pass through Halley’s path a second time this year. This creates the Orionid meteor shower, which peaks around October 20.
Halley’s Comet takes around 76 years to make a complete revolution around the sun. The next time it will be visible from Earth is in 2061.