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/ Updated / Source: Space.com
Jan.14.2006 02:03
Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.

"Planet X" might actually exist — and so might "Planet Y."

At least two planets larger than Earth likely lurk in the dark depths of space far beyond Pluto , just waiting to be discovered, a new analysis of the orbits of "extreme trans-Neptunian objects" (ETNOs) suggests.

Researchers studied 13 ETNOs — frigid bodies such as the dwarf planet Sedna that cruise around the sun at great distances in elliptical paths. [ Meet Our Solar System's Dwarf Planets ]

Theory predicts a certain set of details for ETNO orbits, study team members said. For example, they should have a semi-major axis, or average distance from the sun, of about 150 astronomical units (AU). (1 AU is the distance from Earth to the sun — roughly 93 million miles, or 150 million kilometers.) These orbits should also have an inclination, relative to the plane of the solar system, of almost 0 degrees, among other characteristics.

But the actual orbits of the 13 ETNOs are quite different, with semi-major axes ranging from 150 to 525 AU and average inclinations of about 20 degrees.

Jan.14.2006 02:03

"This excess of objects with unexpected orbital parameters makes us believe that some invisible forces are altering the distribution of the orbital elements of the ETNOs, and we consider that the most probable explanation is that other unknown planets exist beyond Neptune and Pluto," lead author Carlos de la Fuente Marcos, of the Complutense University of Madrid, said in a statement .

"The exact number is uncertain, given that the data that we have is limited, but our calculations suggest that there are at least two planets, and probably more, within the confines of our solar system," he added.


President Trump arrives in UK to meet with Prime Minister May and Queen

The potential undiscovered worlds would be more massive than Earth, researchers said, and would lie about 200 AU or more from the sun — so far away that they'd be very difficult, if not impossible, to spot with current instruments.

The new results are detailed in two papers in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society Letters .

This is a condensed version of a report from Space.com. Read the full report . Follow Mike Wall on Twitter @michaeldwall and Google+ . Follow Space.com @Spacedotcom , Facebook or Google+ .

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Movie night at the historic capitol museum

The Historic Capitol Museum will show Superman during Movie Night at the Museum this Friday, June 1.


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Celebrate the end of school with a visit to Metropolis! That’s the Tallahassee Metropolis, where the Historic Capitol Museum will show Superman during Movie Night at the Museum this Friday, June 1. The film choice is in honor of the men and women of steel who saved the Historic Capitol from demolition 40-years ago.

While the Historic Capitol’s heroes and heroines were debating in the legislature and picketing on the Capitol steps, Superman, starring Christopher Reeve and Margot Kidder, was first released into theaters. Based on a comic devised by two teenage boys in 1933, Superman was just the hero Florida needed to save the day and keep the beautiful Historic Capitol for us all to enjoy!

The film will be shown outside in the Capitol Courtyard, and attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or blankets for seating. Picnic baskets are welcome (no kryptonite, please) and complimentary sodas, candy, and popcorn will be provided. The movie will begin at dusk (approximately 8:30 p.m.), but come early to secure your seat, play a few family-friendly games, and enjoy all that the Florida Historic Capitol Museum has to offer. The Museum will be open from 7:00 p.m. and visitors can take the opportunity to check out the temporary exhibit, Capitol Creations: Investigate and Create before it closes on Sunday, June 3.

If by some chance you have never seen this iconic movie, you will no doubt have heard the often borrowed phrase “It’s a Bird! It’s a plane! It’s Superman!” The comic book hero started life on the planet Krypton, but falls to earth when his planet is destroyed with an explosion. Raised as Clark Kent by a quintessentially American family, Superman hones his natural superpowers to help others and fight crime, all while recording it all as a journalist for the Daily Planet newspaper. Don’t miss the chance to see this classic film in such a unique setting!

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The Fibonacci Sequence is the series of numbers:

0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, ...

The next number is found by adding up the two numbers before it.

Example: the next number in the sequence above is 21+34 =

It is that simple!

Here is a longer list:

0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144, 233, 377, 610, 987, 1597, 2584, 4181, 6765, 10946, 17711, 28657, 46368, 75025, 121393, 196418, 317811, ...

Can you figure out the next few numbers?

When we make squares with those widths, we get a nice spiral:

Do you see how the squares fit neatly together? For example 5 and 8 make 13, 8 and 13 make 21, and so on.

This spiral is found in nature! See: Buy Cheap Best Prices Original Penguin Toe Cap Derby Shoes in Bordo Red Footaction Cheap Price Ln53NLX

The Fibonacci Sequence can be written as a "Rule" (see Sequences and Series ).

First, the terms are numbered from 0 onwards like this:

So term number 6 is called x 6 (which equals 8).

So we can write the rule:

The Rule is x n = x n-1 + x n-2


x = x + x
= x + x
= 21 + 13

And here is a surprise. When we take any two successive (one after the other) Fibonacci Numbers, their ratio is very close to the Golden Ratio " φ " which is approximately 1.618034...

In fact, the bigger the pair of Fibonacci Numbers, the closer the approximation. Let us try a few:

Note: this also works when we pick two random whole numbers to begin the sequence, such as 192 and 16 (we get the sequence 192, 16, 208, 224, 432, 656, 1088, 1744, 2832, 4576, 7408, 11984, 19392, 31376, ... ):

It takes longer to get good values, but it shows that not just the Fibonacci Sequence can do this!

And even more surprising is that we can calculate any Fibonacci Number using the Golden Ratio:

The answer always comes out as a whole number , exactly equal to the addition of the previous two terms.


When I used a calculator on this (only entering the Golden Ratio to 6 decimal places) I got the answer 8.00000033. A more accurate calculation would be closer to 8.

Try it for yourself!

Here is the Fibonacci sequence again:

There is an interesting pattern:

And so on (every th number is a multiple of).

1/89 = 0.011235955056179775...

Notice the first few digits (0,1,1,2,3,5) are the Fibonacci sequence?

In a way they are, except multiple digit numbers (13, 21, etc) , like this:

The sequence works below zero also, like this:

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