Pluto, Charon, and Planet X

The history, search and discovery of the planet Pluto

This paper focuses on the history and the discovery of the ninth planet in the Solar System, Pluto, and its lone moon, Charon. The paper discusses various theories about what originally propelled astronomers to search for this mysterious planet, known as Planet X, and how its name Pluto finally came about after its discovery.
“John Murray, an astronomer from Open University in the U.K. proposes a theory in which two large objects may gravitationally affect the orbits of long period comets. These two objects would have to be about 32,000 AU from the Sun and extremely massive, about the size of Jupiter. John J. Matese of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette proposes a similar theory. His involves two to three Jupiter sized objects orbiting at about 2.3 trillion miles from the Sun. He says that their gravity is responsible for the deflection of roughly 25% of the known 82 Oort Cloud comets into the inner solar system. Matese says that these massive objects do not necessarily have to be planets; they may be undetected brown dwarfs undetected because the IRAS (Infrared Astronomical Satellite) of the 1980s was not sensitive enough to distinguish an individual brown dwarf against the galactic plane.”

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