Bring it on!
Are we going to have the usual fight about what Pluto is?
As far as I can tell it's not even a dwarf planet, just a crappy Kuiper belt object and not special at all.
There I said it. Come at me.
Dunes of methane ice grains have been discovered on Pluto after scientists studied snaps taken by NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft. That's according to a paper published in the journal Science today. New Horizons, launched over a decade ago in 2006, has allowed boffins to conduct the most detailed study of the largest dwarf …
Not really bothered on the 'Save Pluto' front, but I do remember, years ago, reading that, although a ninth planet had been predicted from planertary perturbation (gravitic influence on orbital motion not accounted for by observed masses) for many years, Pluto did not appear to have either the mass or the orbit to account for these effects.
Essentially, there was an undiscovered planetary mass (or lots of small masses in a relatively small region), which was the real 'planet nine', and whatever Pluto might be, it certainly wasn't that.
Does anyone else remember that, or have I been carrying around my own personal Mandela effect for all these years?
No, you are right. What you may have forgotten (or just not been aware of) is that NASA was able to make very accurate measurements of the mass of Uranus and Neptune when Voyager-2 made it's close approaches to them. They discovered that Neptune's mass was significantly different from the first estimate made by astronomers (I think it was about 4% heavier); when they dropped that into the orbital motion calculations the unknown perturbation disappeared.
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