It's not you, It's Planet Nine

It's not you, It's Planet Nine

Dear Pluto,

Sorry it’s been so long since we’ve talked. Your selfie over the summer just made me kind of uncomfortable. It’s been 10 years since we changed our status and it's been rough, but tattooing a heart on your surface just seemed a bit much.

 Source: NASA

Source: NASA

Well, you might be wondering why I’m writing to you out of the blue then. I think I might have found someone else. We both knew that this day would come. I know, I know, it really doesn’t look like there is anyone else, but it’s sort of a long distance thing. Really long distance. Like it could take 10,000 to 20,000 years before it makes a visit around the Sun’s place. Nonetheless, because it’s not official yet, I’ll call just call it “Planet Nine.” 

 Source: Caltech, R. Hurt (IPAC)

Source: Caltech, R. Hurt (IPAC)

Anyway, I just want to let you know how we met. People have been saying that Planet Nine has been around for some time, but the proof of something meaningful just wasn’t really there. So Konstantin Batygin and Mike Brown told me about these 6 objects that have been orbiting around the Sun. Through computer simulations that observed orbit, tilt, and effects of gravity, Batygin and Brown found that they were all sort of hinting toward Planet Nine existing. The likelihood of this happening accidentally is 0.007 percent or 1 in 14,300. Planet Nine just answers a lot of questions people have been asking for years. Basically, what I’m trying to say is, there is a good chance that fate brought Planet Nine and me together.

 Source: Caltech, R. Hurt (IPAC)

Source: Caltech, R. Hurt (IPAC)

Remember how our main issue was that you were just so much smaller than me? Well, yeah, Planet Nine might be around 10 times the mass of me and 5,000 times the mass of you. It’s probably made of gas and I don’t have to remind you how much I love gas giants. Neptune and Uranus are really excited about everything. Not to rub it in your face or anything, Planet Nine just makes a lot more sense, you know? While we had a good 76 year run as planetmates, at the end of the day, you are just a dwarf planet and I’m not. 

I’ll be looking to the skies to find Planet Nine, and if I happen to see you I just wanted to make sure I could say hi. I hope we can still be friends.

Sincerely,
Earth

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