Through the dreary darkness chanted;
Thoughts in attitudes imperious,
Voices soft, and deep, and serious,
Words that whispered, songs that haunted....
All the soul in rapt suspension,
All the quivering, palpitating
Chords of life in utmost tension,
With the fervor of invention
With the rapture of creating...
-- Longfellow (again)
I am still floating, suspended above the Earth, here (from a great day, indeed!) -- so space science is on tap as a night cap, once again. . . smile.
It seems that citizen scientists using distributed computing power have identified at least four possible candidates for the elusive, large, dark and distant planet we mentioned in the dead of a deep snowstorm, at the nadir of our funk, in January 2016.[Backgrounder from January 2016 here.] What is astonishing, to me -- is that the world, working together, has identified -- in a year -- what any one science team would have likely taken a generation, to work out.
All by using strictly mathematical models, of where and when, it ought to be seen. Do indeed watch (again!) the Caltech story of Planet 9 unfold, before your eyes (about 2 minutes in duration):
Here's last week's blurb from Space.com:
. . . .Citizen scientists have flagged four objects for follow-up study in the hunt for the hypothetical Planet Nine.
The four unknown objects were spotted in images of the southern sky captured recently by the SkyMapper telescope at Siding Spring Observatory in Australia. More than 60,000 people from around the world scoured these photos, making about 5 million classifications, said researchers with the Australian National University (ANU), which organized the citizen-science project.
Astronomers will now use Siding Spring and other telescopes around the world to investigate the four objects to determine if they're viable Planet Nine candidates. . . .
Do sleep well, all you precious cargo, on our little third rock. . . as we each traverse separate, but entangled, and yes angled-elliptical orbits -- spanning hundreds of generations of our own life-times, grinning to John Legend acoustics and Vanessa Williams in retro mode -- now we nod off, imagining anew another body of unwasted grace, floating as a shepherd moon -- to various other little world-itas. . . fantastic! Be excellent to one another. . . it's almost the holiday weekend!