New Giant Planet Around Sun? Hawaiian Savages Learned Nothing Important Yet?
After all these hard discourses, my friends, as Ludwig Van would say, time for a little levity. Could spaceships some day fuel far out? It has long been suspected. And now indirect, computational proofs are piling up.
Science is just common sense. The edge of science is the edge of common sense, thus on the edge of the totally unfamiliar. Thus, it’s not obvious. But still, common sense should stay front and center.
For example, the dwarf planets around the orbit of Neptune and beyond, have extremely weird orbits. Pluto actually cuts the orbit of Neptune. And others do. These highly elliptical orbits always baffled me.
[Hypothetical lightning has been represented on Planet Nine, in this art from Caltech; this was observed with other giant planets; distant Sun is visible, but won’t warm things much; at this sort of distances, only energy of nuclear origin could enable colonization, except if one make work completely new sources such as my suggested vacuum energy method. See: Zero Point Energy Machine.]
Caltech’s Batygin (theorist) and Brown (experimentalist) published their work in the current issue of the Astronomical Journal: “Evidence For A Distant Giant Planet In the Solar System”. “Planet Nine” explains a number of mysterious features of the orbits of icy dwarf planets, objects and debris beyond Neptune known as the Kuiper Belt.
“Although we were initially quite skeptical that this planet could exist, as we continued to investigate its orbit and what it would mean for the outer solar system, we become increasingly convinced that it is out there,” says Batygin, an assistant professor of planetary science. “For the first time in over 150 years, there is solid evidence that the solar system’s planetary census is incomplete.”
The discovery was long anticipated: I mentioned myself many times that the weird orbits made sense only if there was a huge weird planet out there. Although a star dashing through the solar system could have brought the same effect, and there was indeed such a star!
(A red dwarf star zoomed through the Solar System 70,000 years ago, at 20% of the distance to Proxima Centauri, the (red dwarf) star closest to the Sun.)
In 2014, an ex-postdoc of Brown’s, Chad Trujillo, and a colleague, Scott Shepherd, noted just that: 13 of the most distant objects in the Kuiper Belt are similar in some orbital features. To explain that similarity, they suggested the possible presence of a small planet.
The six most distant objects from Trujillo and Shepherd’s original collection all follow elliptical orbits that point in the same direction in physical space (with a thirty degree angle off the plane of the ecliptic, the plane of planets). That is particularly surprising because the outermost points of their orbits (“perihelions”) move around the solar system, and they travel at different speeds.
“It’s almost like having six hands on a clock all moving at different rates, and when you happen to look up, they’re all in exactly the same place,” says Brown. The odds of having that happen are something like 1 in 100, he says. But on top of that, the orbits of the six objects are also all tilted in the same way — pointing about 30 degrees downward in the same direction relative to the plane of the eight known planets. The probability of that happening is about 0.007 percent. “Basically it shouldn’t happen randomly,” Brown says. “So we thought something else must be shaping these orbits.”
The researchers tried different possibilities, quite a bit as Kepler did with Mars. Whereas Kepler, using Tycho’s work, took decades, modern computers compute fast. It soon became obvious that only a massive planet explained what was observed. In particular it explains the orbits of Sedna and 2012 VP113 which never get very close to Neptune, yet behave as if they were “kicked” by something (as Pluto and others which, coming close to Neptune, are kicked by Neptune).
The Ninth Planet would also explain the weird orbits perpendicular to the ecliptic of some objects, which were recently discovered…
Science is not over. Actually, it’s barely starting. Ironically only telescopes based in Hawai’i have enough light gathering capability to detect the hypothetical Ninth Planet, if it is close to its furthest point from the Sun. It’s ironical: these telescopes are on one of two giant volcanoes in Hawai’i (the other, just as tall, explodes periodically). Those telescopes, the largest functioning telescopes in the world, ten meters across, profits from the fact they are, atmospherically speaking, half way to space.
The savages in Hawai’i, apparently gravely offended by all this science, persuaded the Hawaiian Supreme Court to order to stop the construction of a giant Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) in Hawai’i. The TMT offends the Hawaiian gods. So Planet Nine now has a good chance to not be discovered in Hawai’i, and the savages there can keep on roasting people according to their old religion.
For those who forgot: the famous Captain Cook was captured, roasted and devoured in Hawai’i. (Hence the allusion to roasting, as this was not just culinary, but religious.) And the global mood, promoted by the powers that be is to respect all religions, especially if they are gravely offended by common sense and basic humanism. Or offended by free, unaccompanied German women in front of Cologne’s cathedral.
Hawaiians, I am afraid, learned nothing. In spite of their tragic history.
In the early Nineteenth Century, American missionaries came to Hawai’i and persuaded the authorities of that independent nation, to persecute Catholics. That was promptly done, maybe in the hope of Hawaiian authorities to ingratiate themselves with American plutocracy. The French military intervened twice to force Hawaiian authorities to stop abusing Catholics (the first treaty was signed, but then violated, bringing the second French intervention, a decade later).
Ultimately American plutocrats and their Protestant missionaries acting as a fifth column, staged a coup against the legitimate Queen of Hawai’i. The Hawaiian Constitutional monarchy and its national assembly was then destroyed and annexed by the USA, to plant pineapple, sugar cane, and now tourists and pot. Fortunes were made. By American plutocrats. Hawai’i, for 15 centuries independent, and a civilization, not to say a culinary hot spot, became an other possession of the American empire.
One would think that Hawaiians would have learned that blind anger, irrationality and scorn for common sense only bring their doom. But apparently, not so. Instead of contributing to the Enlightenment, Hawai’i has decided to contribute to Obscurantism, in a frantic rage against astronomy, and the discovery of worlds untold.
You would think that Barack Obama, who was born in Honolulu, on the island of Oahu, Hawai’i, would have said something loud, along the preceding lines. Not so.
Abysmal. Astronomically abysmal.