Category Archives: Former Planets and Weird Stuff

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Vulcan: the planet that never was

This blog has frequently lamented the demotion of Pluto. After being expelled from the company of planets, it now resides in the newly-named Plutoids, in the company of Eris, Sedna and other dwarf planets. Another one-time planet suffered a worse, and lonelier, fate one hundred years ago.

The planet Vulcan came into (theoretical) being as a solution to the problem of Mercury‘s orbit, which deviated from the track that Newton’s laws laid down for it. Continue reading


Astronomers discover the largest known solar system, consisting of a large planet that takes a million years to orbit its star.

Source: Astronomers discover largest solar system – BBC News


Scientists think they’ve solved the mystery of what causes those weird bright spots on the dwarf planet Ceres — and you may have a jar of it in your bathroom at home.

Source: Ceres’s mysterious bright spots identified as common bath additive – Technology & Science – CBC News


Witnessing an aurora first-hand is a truly awe-inspiring experience no matter what planet you may be on.

Source: What’s It Like to See Auroras on Other Planets?


New observations of Pluto’s moons reveal a system in pandemonium, according to scientists with the New Horizons mission.

Source: Pandemonium! Motion of Pluto’s Moons Perplexes Scientists