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Kami Velasquez
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Writer, Blogger, Poet, Reiki healer, nana, lover of cats and plants and all things living
Writer, Blogger, Poet, Reiki healer, nana, lover of cats and plants and all things living

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Thousands of Worlds Could Lurk Beyond Pluto - This New Animation Shows Them All

Welcome to our cosmic neighbourhood.


You may be familiar with our Solar System's eight planets - Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. There's also their famous dwarf-planet companion, Pluto.

But this icy world may just be an appetiser to what lurks beyond in a region called the Kuiper Belt.

As this stunning animation suggests, dwarf planets may outnumber regular planets 100- or even 1,000-fold.

However, if a small group of astronomers gets its way, most of these worlds may become fully fledged planets and drop the "dwarf" label.


Where the animation comes from

We first saw the animation in a Reddit post by user Nobilitie. It's actually a recording of a physics-based simulator game called Universe Sandbox2, according to Dan Dixon, the creator and director of the software.

Each ring represents an object's orbit, and the mess of rings beyond the inner eight rings all belong to dwarf planets.

In response to the Reddit post, Dixon said the orbits are based on a constantly updated list of candidate worlds maintained by Mike Brown, an astronomer at Caltech.

"[I]t's a nice illustration of what is out there!" Brown wrote in an email to Business Insider. "The striking difference between the orderly giant planets and the randomness of the dwarf planets is quite apparent."

Brown is the person who discovered Eris, a 10th solar system object that's about 27 percent more massive than Pluto.

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Just catching up in the digital age before falling to sleep.
The bars upon this window are not what they seem to be for in this world of illusion we can never not be free. It’s in the land of Dreams where next to my heart you be and the jailer and the jailed one will set each other free. It’s in the land of Dreams…
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