Demise of Planet X

Demise of Planet X - Robert Sutton Harrington , [50]...

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Demise of Planet X Clyde W. Tombaugh , the discoverer of Pluto Mass estimates for Pluto Year Mass Notes 1931 1 Earth Nicholson & Mayall [44] [45] [46] 1948 0.1 (1/10) Earth Kuiper [47] 1976 [48] 1978 0.002 (1/500) Earth [49] Once found, Pluto's faintness and lack of a resolvable disc cast doubt on the idea that it was Lowell's Planet X . Estimates of Pluto's mass were revised downward throughout the 20th century. In 1978, the discovery of Pluto's moon Charon allowed the measurement of Pluto's mass for the first time. Its mass, roughly 0.2% that of the Earth, was far too small to account for the discrepancies in the orbit of Uranus. Subsequent searches for an alternate Planet X, notably by
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Unformatted text preview: Robert Sutton Harrington , [50] failed. In 1992, Myles Standish used data from Voyager 2 ' s 1989 flyby of Neptune , which had revised the planet's total mass downward by 0.5%, to recalculate its gravitational effect on Uranus. With the new figures added in, the discrepancies, and with them the need for a Planet X, vanished. [51] Today, the majority of scientists agree that Planet X, as Lowell defined it, does not exist. [52] Lowell had made a prediction of Planet X's position in 1915 that was fairly close to Pluto's position at that time; Ernest W. Brown concluded almost immediately that this was a coincidence, [53] a view still held today. [...
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This note was uploaded on 12/15/2011 for the course AST AST1002 taught by Professor Emilyhoward during the Fall '10 term at Broward College.

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