Let’s Hunt – 9th Planet, Lunar Tunnels and Strange Galaxies

The hunt for the 9th planet in our Solar System is asking for the citizen scientist’s help. The project will be launched by Prof Brian Cox as part of BBC Two’s Stargazing Live which begins on 28 March. Why not join in? See here for more details. It is currently thought to be gaseous, much like our planets Uranus and Neptune. An artist’s impression is below.

 

This is clearly of interest to me because it might (depending on various factors, blah, blah, blah…) affect the science fiction novel I’m writing… uh-oh, just thought, given one of the surprises I’ve put into the novel, it will do. (Colour me very excited!)

The novel I’m talking about is what I call my C.A.T. novel. There’s already a series of three stories published about the cheeky little rogue. If you want some idea of what it’s about click on the image below to read the first part of the first story.

In other news… recent discoveries about the Moon would suggest that a lot of science fiction about the Moon is becoming outdated. (That science fiction had its uses, pointing the way to what the scientists might like to look for and why, so I’m not knocking that science fiction.)

The latest is that the deep pits the Japanese discovered near the Marius Hills on the Moon are close to, if not directly connected to hollow spaces tens of kilometres long. Given the need to live underground on the Moon to avoid nasty things like radiation, these could end up being the home to future Lunarians. Details here.

Turning now to galaxies far far away… the further away the galaxies are, the younger age we’re seeing them at (all to do with the limiting speed of light). These galaxies are not behaving in the way that scientists had expected. Gravitationally speaking, we need the idea of dark matter to explain the fast speeds of stars orbiting the centre of galaxies. However, these young ones don’t have those speeds. So the hunt is on to find an explanation how the stars and galaxies can evolve to produce this effect. The answer may, or may not, get rid of the idea of dark matter.

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