A New Planet in our Solar System?


You may have heard recently that astronomers “may” have discovered a new planet out beyond Pluto (which is no longer a planet, but still present in our solar system despite it’s humiliating downgrade).  You may wonder how a planet “may” have been found.  Shouldn’t it either be there or not?  Where does “maybe” come into consideration?

What’s interesting is that this planet hasn’t ever been seen.  Not even through a telescope.  It was “discovered” (maybe) by mathematics.

Check out an explanation here:  http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/how-math-and-not-a-telescope-may-have-found-a-new-planet/


Read the article linked above.  Explain in a couple of paragraphs:

How did scientists use math to possibly discover the new planet?  Why is it “maybe” a planet and not a sure thing?  What %-age of certainty do scientists have?  What other possibilities could there be to explain the phenomena if it isn’t a planet?  How big is this (supposed) planet?  What else did the main person who made this discovery accomplish?  And finally:  Do you think we will eventually be able to prove whether or not a planet is there for certain?


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