7.31.2005

Whither Planet X?
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Spitzer Space Telescope-used to confirm object 2005 FY9

Sometimes the things we profess to know, in fact we do not. See the splash of astronomical discoveries that have ocurred over the last week, changing our view of the solar system of the Sun.

No fewer than three so-called trans-Neptunian objects have been confirmed in the past week, meaning that there could be as few as ten and as many as 12 confirmed planets.

If we use Isaac Asimov's definition of mesoplanet, this number surges past 20.

Still, one thing for which no planetary scientists have a very good explanation is the phenomenon of the close-in gas giant which appears to be the most common extrasolar system configuration.

Perhaps rather than close-in gas giants, which orbit their stars at a distance which would put them, if they were in our solar system, somewhere between the orbit of Venus and Mercury, instead can be considered 'failed stars' that did not ignite.

Our understanding of the human mind, its processes, and conditions such as memory impairment are similarly hazy, though, through observation, we can come to some basic definitions and conclusions about what we are observing - the same with using our toolset to monitor your own cognitive performance...



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