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Hey Look, There’s a Planet in my Pants!

What? That’s what scientists are saying… where, what, how and who?

Dwarf Planet?
rmatthendrick, flickr

You can’t imagine my delight when I read Dwarf planet… I thought, finally a planet for short people. No more shower heads on the ceiling, cupboards I can actually reach and maybe even pants that don’t fray at the bottom cause they’re always too long. But my bubble popped pretty quickly once I realized this was not what the headline meant. I wouldn’t have a short people planet after all and will continue to be forced to only make tall friends, just in case.So in the end, there is no planet in my pants and no shortened shower heads.

So the skinny on the so called Dwarf planet, although not as cool as I first believed, still cool. The dwarf was first spotted last year and has made a few changes since that have given astronomers a better look and left them with more questions.The (non) planet is oblong shaped, in and of that the planet creates puzzles for specialists.

The surprise? The tiny world lacks any kind of atmosphere like the one draping its cool cousin, Pluto. A sharp drop-off in the starlight switched on and off by the occultation reveals no apparent nitrogen atmosphere on the planet, as the study authors say they expected, Nitrogen can remain a gas, unfrozen even at temperatures of -369 degrees.

Instead, any atmosphere on the dwarf planet likely froze out, similar to the more distant dwarf planet, Eris, draping the world with fairly reflective ice.

It’s amazing to think what is out there, so much we know, so much we don’t know. For all we know there is another Galaxy living at the bottom of Horsetooth. :P

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