Thursday, 21 January 2016

jötunheimr or planet nine from outer space

Orbital perturbations of the outer most planets of our Solar System and perhaps the mysterious and unexpected geologically active surface of Pluto suggest to astronomers that a Neptune-sized world sweeping out an elongated path nearly twice as distant as Pluto at its aphelion might exist.
That far away and with such an unimaginably long year would be quite faint and the marauder would only make itself know, possibly with great disruption, only once in epochs, and so is naturally elusive—even if one’s telescope are fixed on the right patch of sky. If such a ninth planet does exist (and that seems to be a pretty big leap as other theoretical place-holders have dematerialised in the past), astronomers propose that it is an ice-giant ejected from the Solar System’s core long ago—or, even more exotically, a captured “rogue” exoplanet. That would really be something if we had been harbouring a galactic hitchhiker all this time. Native or not, maybe the new planet should be named after Thrym, king of the Ice Giant realm of Jötunheimr—which is a nemesis to the realm of men and their gods.