The Hunt for Planet X: New Worlds and the Fate of Pluto by Govert Schilling

By Govert Schilling

Ever because the serendipitous discovery of planet Uranus in 1871, astronomers were attempting to find new worlds within the outer areas of our sunlight method. This intriguing and ongoing quest culminated lately within the discovery of 1000s of ice dwarfs within the Kuiper belt, robbed Pluto from its ‘planet’ prestige, and ended in a greater figuring out of the beginning of the sun method. This well timed booklet reads like a systematic ‘who performed it’, going from the heights of discovery to the depths of sadness in quest of ‘Planet X’. in line with many own interviews with astronomers, the well known technological know-how author Govert Schilling introduces the heroes within the race to be the 1st to find one other global, greater than Pluto.

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By Govert Schilling

Ever because the serendipitous discovery of planet Uranus in 1871, astronomers were attempting to find new worlds within the outer areas of our sunlight method. This intriguing and ongoing quest culminated lately within the discovery of 1000s of ice dwarfs within the Kuiper belt, robbed Pluto from its ‘planet’ prestige, and ended in a greater figuring out of the beginning of the sun method. This well timed booklet reads like a systematic ‘who performed it’, going from the heights of discovery to the depths of sadness in quest of ‘Planet X’. in line with many own interviews with astronomers, the well known technological know-how author Govert Schilling introduces the heroes within the race to be the 1st to find one other global, greater than Pluto.

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Extra info for The Hunt for Planet X: New Worlds and the Fate of Pluto

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After 1930, he continued his search, month after month, year after year. In 1943 – by now a fully trained astronomer, a husband, and a father – Tombaugh had searched the entire night sky, at least as far as it was visible from Flagstaff. That resulted in nearly 800 new asteroids, a handful of galaxy clusters, and one comet. But no new planet beyond the orbit of Neptune. There seemed to be only one conclusion possible: Planet X, with its strange orbit and small size, really must be the last planet in our solar system.

After all, the Naval Observatory had the best conceivable instruments to make the required observations. But his official proposal was rejected and, 2 years later, Christy had forgotten it completely. He was more occupied with his divorce and his marriage to the new love of his life Charlene in 1975 than with the solar system. 50 6 A Strange and Wonderful Week Omen And then, in June 1978, came that strange and wonderful week. , and were due to move from their apartment on Monday, June 26. Jim was going to take the whole week off for the move and to get the house ready.

Christy’s dedication and accuracy did not go unnoticed and in September 1962, even before he had graduated, he was given a job at the United States Naval Observatory in Flagstaff, where a new telescope had been put into operation which could measure the positions of stars with great accuracy. It was a quiet job, with many lonely nights at the telescope, sometimes 3 weeks or more at a time. Back then, Flagstaff was still a small, orderly town. On Fridays, Christy and his colleagues would always have lunch with the astronomers from neighboring Lowell Observatory.

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