Mini planet found far beyond Earth's solar system

Comments (3)
michael10sley wrote:

Come on, Irene Klotz…..
‘mini planet beyond our solar system’ sounds like its just outside the orbits of Pluto and Eris instead of 210 light years from Earth. That’s 210 times 6,000,000,000,000 miles which is certainly not near us at all.
You could have just said it was found that far from Earth.

Feb 22, 2013 8:14pm EST  --  Report as abuse
REnninga wrote:

Hmm, “mini planet”? I don’t know about that. I’m betting on “Empire Death Star” :-O

Feb 25, 2013 5:13pm EST  --  Report as abuse
REnninga wrote:

Michael, your criticism is off-base and unfair.

The headline itself reads” “Mini planet found far beyond Earth’s solar system.”

Interpretting “Far beyond Earth’s solar system” as sounding like its just outside the orbits of Pluto and Eris” takes some strained reasoning and misunderstanding of the science.

If you believe Pluto and Eris to be at the edge of the solar system, the error is yours. Because the limits of the solar system are actually far beyond Pluto and Eris … and Irene’s verbage makes clear that this discovery is far beyond the limits of the solar system!

The “Oort Cloud” is part of our Solar System, and it extends out to about one light-year from the Sun – which considering the distances represented is effectively the same thing as saying a light-year beyond Pluto.

The Sun’s gravitational field is estimated to dominate the gravitational forces of surrounding stars out to about two light years (125,000 AU) – again, considering the distances is effectively two light years beyond Pluto.

If you really wish to criticise what you believe a writer is implying, you might first want to brush-up on your science, and then revisit the accuracy of what you have inferred.

Feb 25, 2013 5:38pm EST  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.