In 2013 a team of astronomers discovered a new planet eleven times more massive than Jupiter and 650 astronomical units from it’s star. It’s relatively new, only 13 million years old, and still glows from leftover heat from it’s formation. This planet defies many of the limitations scientists know about star and planet formation. It’s too far away from it’s star to have been formed by gathering asteroid-like bodies from the creation of the star or to be made of dust and gas clouds in the primordial disk. Astronomers also considered the idea that it might be a failed start formed during binary star formation however the mass ratio of the planet and it’s star is too different for that to be likely either.
However, the demotion of Pluto caused a lot of arguments and debates between Astronomers. Astronomers in favour of that decision thought it was a revolution of science and the way it should be approached. It wasn't until 2005 when Mike Brown discovered the "Kuiper Belt" which was said to be bigger than Pluto and the doubts about Pluto being considered as a planet raised. Regardless of the amount of astronomers who agreed about the demotion, a percentage of those scientists thought that word "Planet" is too vague. Still, having subcategories such as "Gas Giants", "Terrestrial Planets (Pluto being one of them)" and "Asteroids".
Many scientists theorize that Pluto might actually have once been a moon of Neptune. It is believed that Pluto originally came from outside of our solar system and was accidentally caught in the Sun’s gravity, pulling the dwarf planet into our solar system. So, Pluto would have been far from the typical classified planet, especially when it comes to the size. Therefore Pluto’s status of dwarf planet comes a great deal from its small size, so ... ... middle of paper ... ...it which brings a literal definition to dwarf planet. As well, the orbit of Pluto is angled, ovular, and it crosses the path of other objects, something a true planet would not be able to do.
The path it took was nicknamed “VEEGA: Venus-Earth-Earth Gravity Assist. Galileo would slingshot once by Venus, and twice from Earth, gathering the momentum to r... ... middle of paper ... ...red future plans to orbit it and possible send in a lander. The radiation Jupiter produces made it hard for Galileo to come close to the inner moon and scientist thought it would be best to save that for last. The successful flybys led to the discovery of erupting fountains of lava on Io. The next mission was titled Galileo Millennium Mission which lasted till 2001.
Extrasolar planets are a fascinating study in the field of astronomy. Since the first one was discovered back in 1992, scientists and planet hunters have confirmed more than one thousand exoplanets out of more than three thousand candidates. An extrasolar planet is any planet outside our own solar system. The importance of finding them is not just for the knowledge they are present in our universe, but to find possible earth-planets as well. You cannot take your average telescope and point to the heavens and find an exoplanet, though.
They then discovered Neptune and that halted on what they thought was the cause of the irregularity in the orbit of Uranus. William H. Pickering and Percival Lowell, two astronomers, in the late 19th century said that a larger object outside of Neptune had to be the cause of the irregularity of Uranus and not Neptune because it was too small. So they predicted the size and approximates of which lies beyond our Solar System that Lowell called Planet X. A quite time later at Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff an Astronomer the name of Clyde W. Harbaugh discovered Pluto. Only Pluto being the fifth of the Earth’s moon they proved that it couldn’t be the cause of Neptune and Uranus orbit behavior.
The next great astronomer to follow him was Isaac Newton. Newton had made a great amount of contributions to astronomy during his life. He further proved that the Earth was not the center of the universe and he also invented the Newtonian reflector telescope which is still used today in observatories. Also, he discovered that light could be split into a visible spectrum of colors. Spectral colors from stars would later be used to determine their size, temperature, chemical composition, and even the direction the star is moving.
An x-ray source indicates that the moon-size black hole has the mass of at least 500 suns, “making it intermediate between stellar black holes and the supermassive black holes found at the center of galaxies” (Scientific America, 1). Scientists were shocked at this discovery, for they didn’t know that these types of black holes existed. Scientists believe this black hole may have been due to a collapsed “hyperstar” or the growth of a smaller black hole through mergers with others nearby. Reaction I find this so very fascinating because I can not even fathom how space and galaxies exist. With newer and faster technology, come new discoveries, and I think it’s great that we have the chance to explore a whole new frontier unlike the one we live on.
Once further research was done regarding Pluto it was determined that the size of Pluto was too small to account for the irregularities of the orbits. Astronomers continued to search for a tenth planet, “Planet X.” The calculations that made scientists to believe this have since been proven incorrect by the Voyager 2. With the more accurate mass of Neptune that Voyager 2 was able to produce, the discrepancies of the orbit were explained. It is no longer believed that there is a tenth planet. Since it’s discovery, the legitimacy of Pluto as actually being a planet, has long been debated.
Some scientists theorize that an unknown force, called Dark Energy, may be the cause of this accelerated expansion, while others disagree. For some time, exploding stars, or supernovas, were used as a "cosmic measuring stick" (4). That is, scientists used these supernovas to calculate the age of the universe. In 1998, two groups of astronomers surveyed supernovas in very distant galaxies. These supernovas were much dimmer than expected to be, and calculations proved that the stars were over ten billion light years away, much farther away than they should be had the universe been expanding at a slowing rate, or even a constant rate, as previously theorized (5).