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Showing posts from January, 2014

Notes Toward a Better Understanding of Our Solar System

Sedna, discovered a decade ago, is a trans-Neptunian object (most likely a Dwarf planet) which may turn out to be "the first known member of the Inner Oort Cloud".   The red oval below depicts Sedna's extreme orbit about our Sun.

TNO's:  Trans-Neptunian Objects
Planetary bodies which orbit the Sun farther away than Neptune are known as Trans-Neptunian Objects, or TNOs.   I wrote about them last year in my Science & Speculation blog, Dark Side of the Wild.

Eris & Dysnomia
Eris is a Trans-Neptunian object classified as a dwarf planet, dwelling in the scattered disc.  It's moon is named Dysnomia.  

Oort Cloud >  Scattered Field >  Kuiper Belt >  Solar System >   (SUN)   < Solar System  < Kuiper Belt  < Scattered Field  < Oort Cloud  

It's important for us to try harder to visualize our solar system as it really is.  In order to do that, one must discard our old preconception of the "flat pancake of nine planets" orbiting ou…

The Shrinking Zone

I'd like to advance a theory on the likelihood that our planet's Habitable Zone was once upon a time during the earlier stages of our Solar System's formation actually much larger than it is today; which is to say, its distance from our Sun's location was greater than it is today, therefore it may have applied to the area in which Mars or the asteroid belt now resides.    

50 million years ago, when it is theorized a Mars-sized planetoid may have collided with the Earth to form our moon, was the heat coming from the Sun's region then greater than it is today?  

In the past, astronomers wondered at the much larger gap between Mars and Jupiter, theorizing there may have been a planet there, once.  (Astronomer Heinrich Wilhelm Matthäus Olbers dubbed this hypothetical planet "Phaeton".)  It's not hard to imagine a planet formerly between Mars and Jupiter having been slammed into by a giant asteroid, nor is it it hard to imagine, perhaps, many such-sized pla…