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Patt Morrison asks: Caltech astronomers Mike Brown and Konstantin Batygin on finding a replacement for Pluto

Patt Morrison asks: Caltech astronomers Mike Brown and Konstantin Batygin on finding a replacement for Pluto

In a couple of weeks, Caltech astronomers Mike Brown and Konstantin Batygin will be staying up late over six autumn nights, scanning part of the sky via the great Subaru  telescope in Hawaii. They’ll be looking for something their data tell them is there, but which they have to see with their own eyes: a newfound ninth planet in the solar system. They hadn’t gone looking for a planet — they went looking for explanations for why space debris behaves so weirdly, out beyond Neptune, in what’s called the Kuiper Belt. But now they’re convinced it’s a planet out there, one that’s 10 times the mass of Earth, with a 15,000-year orbit around our...

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