Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Wednesday Weird

Woo Hoo! Back to our usual installment of Wednesday Weird. Oh how I've missed it.

Before we get started, though, just a brief update. This weekend I will be heading out to Wiscon 36, and because of that, I won't have blog posts for either Friday or Monday, since I'll be driving to and from Madison WI (hopefully without getting any speeding tickets). Blog posts will resume as normal next Wednesday.

OK! Onto the Weird!

Today we're going to talk about Sedna.

What's Sedna, you ask? Why the ninth planet in our solar system, of course! (tenth, if you're still counting Pluto. I haven't made my mind up on that yet)

See that dot? Yep. That's Sedna.


What what you ask? Yep. You heard me.

Let's get serious here. Space is effing big. We can all agree on that. And pretty much it's too bright between Mercury and the sun and too dark after Uranus to even really see anything with our current technology. So really, anything could be in our solar system. Space whales? Why not! Space Titanic? Don't be ridiculous. That thing crashed on its maiden voyage.

Even though we're pretty confident about our existing planets (except for Pluto, of course) we're actually not all that confident about other possible planets hanging out in the neighborhood. Which is too bad because they probably hate us for not inviting them to the block parties and junk.

Back to Sedna. Scientists discovered an object orbiting the sun. Yep. Sedna. As of 2012 it was about 3x the distance from the sun as Neptune. So you know, waaaay out there. No one's really sure of its size, but it's at least as big as Pluto. Sedna's long, elliptical orbit takes 11,400 years to complete. Which means chances are, anyone living there has never had a birthday.

So there you have it! Sedna! Of course, I haven't even mentioned Tyche yet, or the fact that there's also a huge gap in asteroids after Pluto, which tells scientists that there's likely a planet between the size of Earth and Mars hanging out back there, munching up all that space rock.

Ahem. But we will. We'll get to Tyche and other things (Nemesis) on later Wednesday Weirds.

Space is awesome.

So what do you think?
.

23 comments:

Anne Gallagher said...

You should have been a science teacher. That was the most awesome astronomy article I've ever read.

Maria Zannini said...

I'm still waiting for Jupiter to accumulate enough mass to turn solar and warm those other planets.

Must be cold out there.

Catherine Stine said...

Very cool. I just went to the Natural History exhibit on the future of space travel, and was blown away. They even had an exhibit where you could smell what the moon smelled like-kinda burnt...
I'm so jealous that you're going to Wiscon! Have a blast.

Sara McClung said...

Dude. That is SO COOL.

Also? I'm so jealous you're going to WisCon! This is the first year I haven't gone for the past couple years. :( Have fun and post lots of pics when you get back! Let me live vicariously :)

Matthew MacNish said...

I love space. I love Hawking's books like The Universe in a Nutshell, and A Brief History of time. They're even better on audiobook. Anyway, I'd actually never heard of this one, but I'm not surprised.

I just hope those things from Mass Effect don't get us before we get published. After that, I guess I'd be okay with it.

Also, Madison is one of my favorite places in the world. I named my daughter after it.

Joshua said...

Maybe Magrathea is out there.

Hart Johnson said...

Oh, I love the idea of space whales! I also love the mind-bendiness that there might be LOTS of these things out there that we just don't have the technology to see.

LD Masterson said...

So should we be inviting the Sedrans to block parties or wait for one of them to have a birthday?

Teebore said...

which tells scientists that there's likely a planet between the size of Earth and Mars hanging out back there, munching up all that space rock.

Unicron!

Seriously, I love junk like this. One of those things that bums is out is the stuff people will learn about space and our solar system long after I'm dead, because technology will have gotten better, but I'll never know about it...

Teebore said...

I also haven't decided about Pluto...

Rena said...

Ah, but the really awesome thing about the Kuiper belt objects is that they are distant enough that it is possible for Kuiper belt objects to have exchanged with other Kuiper belt objects from passing stars (they are seriously distant from the sun, so even though stars themselves can't get close enough, the belts are at ridiculous distances, and could potentially cross over). What's awesome about that is we could actually have material from some other star system hanging out on the edge of ours! #_# Mind blown...

Michael Offutt, Tebow Cult Initiate said...

I think it'd be fun to hear you pronounce "Uranus" with any grace.

Johanna Garth said...

How cool. Thanks for that informative post. Now I feel like I have something interesting to tell my kids when they get home from school tonight!

Elana Johnson said...

I think space is awesome too. And have fun at Wiscon!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

At least they gave it a better name than Uranus!

DL Hammons said...

Instead of dog years, I want to grow up from now on using Sedna years! :)

Joan Crawford said...

I have never heard of this Sedna! Or the name "Sedna" even... I hope it's Roman god of some sort because I like that kind of stuff... like unicorns and space whales, things that are neat and make me feel special. Now I am going to try and work my new-found knowledge into conversation:

"Well, that kind of thing might fly on Sedna, but around here, we wear underpants."

or

"It'll be a hot day on Sedna's uninhabitable surface before I'll get you to convince me that Pluto isn't a planet!"

KatieO said...

Love this post and feel so much more knowledgable now ;-)

And have to say... Poor Pluto. I still think of you as a planet.

Ninja Girl said...

I still count Pluto, can't wrap my head around not counting it since as a child, it was always mentioned with all the other planets.

Anyway, CONGRATS on your votes in The Writer's Voice!! That is awesome, and I just wanted to stop by and say YOU GO GIRL!

Okay, caps off now lol. Hope you have a great week,
Ninja Girl

Jayne said...

I love it. Anything to do with space has me instantly intrigued. But the name Sedna?! Not sure about that. I think they should have called it Fred. :)

lbdiamond said...

Cool!

Annalisa Crawford said...

I believe in Pluto! Sedna - one question, how do you name a new planet?

LisaAnn said...

Sarah! I am finally blogging again, and I couldn't wait to come over and visit! Hope all is well with you!

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