The Undreamed World

Forget Exoplanets. Here’s
the Ninth, the X & the Quirky

When things get rough on the ground, we can always look up. Seven and half billion currently trudging along on this big rock can take solace that the universe is vast and beautiful and always available. It’s also uncaring and violent, but we won’t get into that today.
Part of this soothing feeling is because we don’t know what’s up there. Astronomers wonder if there’s an undiscovered giant orbiting the sun. And another Earth-sized one. And a quirky object too. Or none of the above. We learn a lot by simply not knowing much.
But it’s fun to wonder. Or is it? The cosmos is so disproportionally big that no single mind can wrap itself around it. Large but short of infinity, it baffles and ignores us, while we dream on. Or have nightmares about it. It doesn’t care, but to us, it’s the stuff of, well, you know.
Heard about Nemesis, the sun’s evil twin? Or the identical Earth hidden behind the sun? Both are reasonable guesses, but their currency can only be exchanged at an imaginary box office at the end of the galaxy. One of them is actually a sci-fi movie plot. We may find out some day, but math will probably get there first.
The breakthrough era of exoplanet discoveries and look-alike solar systems has nothing on such suspicions. They date back to the 1800s, when hot-as-the-sun disputes drove many an even-tempered scientist to near madness. Math always gets there first. But even after a century, we’re still way too far behind.

THE SECRET TRANS-NEPTUNIAN COLOSSUS
Planet 9 has been orbiting the slumber of astrophysicists since they first studied the solar system. Something massive has been disturbing Earth’s siblings practically from the universe’s inception and wild youth, back in 2016 minus 4.6 billion years ago. Maybe we’ll find out what.
Mankind owes Percival Lowell the hunt for this ninth planet. His calculations missed the giant but led to the discovery of Pluto, 15 years after his death, a century ago last year. But Pluto can’t explain the orbital disturbances, and that likely doomed it too.
In 2006, the International Astronomical Union downgraded it to dwarf planet, giving grief to many. That left the spot #9 empty, and astronomers have a hunch that its next occupant resides in the area beyond Neptune, a kind of suburbs of the solar system, if you’d insist.
But we may be still years away from direct detection. After all, those outskirts lay at least 300 times farther from the sun than the Blue Planet, and whatever lurks there it’s simply too hard to spot from our backyard. But we might. Just hold off the welcome B-B-Q for now.

A POSSIBLE BRAND NEW TWIN OF EARTH
Taking about burbs, the Kuiper Belt, an area fraught with debris possibly left over from a planetary explosion, and from where most comets come out shooting, may be the neighborhood of yet another unknown object. But this time, it’s of a cozy, Earth-sized scale.
Astronomers suspect that it’s the source of disturbance of the Belt’s 600 objects they’ve been monitoring. Considerably closer to us, and much smaller than Planet 9, it’s been nicknamed Planet 10, but not everyone wants to be quoted on that or even is on board about it.
The scientific community has a healthy skeptical attitude about new claims, specially something they may missed for so long. Humans love a thrill, however, and the spectacular discovery of a new planet (more)
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Read Also:
* Gatekeeper of Outerspace
* Heed My Leaps
* Worlds Away

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Doppelganger

Actor Lookalike Gets
Jail Time for Stalking

Tony Kadyhrob is a sick human being, according to his sister. He gets dangerous when he skips his medication and he often gets in trouble. One thing he doesn’t get it is the potential of the one good thing he has going for himself: his face.
Not that he’s handsome or anything. He just happens to look a lot like the actor Christopher Walken. And while a lot of people make a decent living impersonating celebrities, all Kadyhrob manages to do with his facial gift is to attract attention of witnesses to his bad deeds. Which it turns out, can be a salvation to those who cross his path when he’s out to no good.
Because he does have a knack for doing the wrong thing. As it happened recently, when he got caught in a New Jersey college campus trying to force a student to get into his car. Even though the judge specifically banned Continue reading

Mystery Solved

Impostor Pretending
to Be Obama Is Caught

Breaking news coming from Washington, DC: the FBI’s just arrested Ilham Anas, a Java-based photographer of Kenyan and American descent, who’s been impersonating President Barack Obama for the past few months. Apparently, no one noticed exactly when Anas, who indeed exhibits an uncanny resemblance with Obama, took his place and began acting as an ultra-conservative Republican, but many of his supporters had suspected that the man they enthusiastically campaigned for in 2008 was not the same one who was residing at the White House.
Anas, who up to a few months ago had been making a living as a doppelganger of the president, in politically-correct advertising campaigns for Greenpeace and other progressive institutions, seems to have had a change of heart and decided he could do a better job leading the country than our first black president.
No word yet on how he kept Obama away from the public eye or whether First Lady Michelle and daughters were somehow part of the plot. What’s evident, according to supporters who’d grown discouraged by the president’s recent political decisions, is that he definitely took a right turn and all but abandoned issues he once championed.
President Obama, the real one, is expected to make a historical announcement “anytime now,” according to his press office. That may include a new economic stimulus package, the immediate withdrawal of troops from Iraq and Afghanistan, termination of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, end of the so-called Bush tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans, as well as fundamental changes in his cabinet, and other measures.
Earlier today, cheering crowds began to assemble in front of the White House, in a spontaneous show of support to the “new” Obama. The GOP leadership in Congress, who’s reportedly gathered in an undisclosed location, will issue an official statement about this stunning turn of events in Washington, which most likely will include a new threat of a governemnt lockdown.