These past few years have seen some wild shifts in the way we perceive the empty space around our planet. Out there, swimming in the unwavering stillness of space, a new planet has joined our Solar System. Beyond the recently re-incorporated planet of Pluto, spins a frozen giant three-times the size of planet Earth. This super-Earth or mini-Neptune is a frozen giant, drifting so far away from our sun during its orbit that until now, we had no idea it was a neighbor.
With a revolution around the sun taking an estimated 20,000 earth years, this cattywampus trajectory is not only responsible for it’s until now secret existence, but that it’s surface is nearly entirely frozen through. Though it’s gotten plenty of names from admirers, “George’s” appearance has caused quite an upset in the science community.
There is still so much we don’t understand about the space around our world. Endless in all directions, to start calculating the infinity of space is to spend your life hunched over figures and equations. Predicted to travel along an egg-shaped orbit around our sun, scientists are trying their best to study “George” before it slips past us and won’t be back to visit for another few thousand years.
Signs of this giant have been around for years. Pluto was first discovered when astronomers noticed strange gravitational anomalies past Neptune. Initially confused how such a small planet could be creating such a distortion, scientists were puzzled yet pleased that pluto, the then latest addition to our roster of celestial bodies, was found at all. This latest planet has finally put those mysterious questions to bed while simultaneously opening the floodgates to new and wonderful mysteries to explore.