this is BIG news..
Could you imagine the implications? There have been some incredible pictures of Pluto this year with unprecedented clarity. And now, astronomers think they may have detected a new large planet like formation past Pluto, at the very edge of our solar system. Here is a bit more information on the developments:
Astronomers using data from the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) have found a distant object in the direction of Alpha Centauri. The object appears to be in the outer region of our solar system, and depending on its distance could be a hypothesized ”super-Earth.”
In 2014, ALMA found a faint object in the direction of Alpha Centauri A & B. The object was again observed in May of this year, this time more clearly. Given that the object is within a few arcseconds of the Alpha Centauri system, it would seem reasonable to presume that it could be part of that system, possibly gravitationally bound as Alpha Centauri D. The Centauri system is about 4 light years away, and at that distance (given the object’s brightness at submillimeter wavelengths) it would have to be a red dwarf star. But such a star would also be clearly visible in the infrared, so if this object is Alpha Centauri D we should have seen it long ago.
It seems to be somewhat of a coincidence in that it was in the direction of Alpha Centauri. Now that they have figured that out, expect much more focus on this unusual formation. Here is one of the possibilites about this object which is the cause for all the buzz:
Another possibility (which seems more likely to the object’s discoverers) is that it is about 300 AU away and about 1.5 times the size of Earth, making it the first “super-Earth” found in our solar system.
Check back for updates.
thanks to forbes.com for the great info