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Q&A 63: Why Can’t We Find Planet 9? And More…



In this week’s episode, I explain why you can’t just calculate the position of Planet 9, why we don’t use parachutes to retrieve boosters, and if we can wait 100 million years to see the Great Attractor.

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Team: Fraser Cain – @fcain /
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  1. Pradeep J

    July 9, 2018 at 1:30 pm

    Is there any dark matter in or near our solar system? If yes, what is the evidence?

  2. 1995DylanJ

    July 9, 2018 at 2:26 pm

    Hi Fraser, I was wondering, could you tell us something about KIC 4150611? I've recently learned this is a quintuple star system and I'm really curious as to how that works.

  3. Jim Rustle

    July 9, 2018 at 2:34 pm

    In regards to locating planet 9, the team is currently scanning the outermost reaches of the solar system with the Subaru telescope, I know for a majority of planet 9’s orbit this is where it would be found, but the team seems adverse to the idea that it’s currently located at the opposite end of its orbit, ie behind the sun. There was talk of using old scans from the DES at one time to see if it had slipped by undetected, I think this would be wise.

  4. ltousch

    July 9, 2018 at 3:06 pm

    Hi Fraser,
    Why do we speak about Dyson sphere and not about Dyson ring? For me, a ring would be much easier to make because you just need to make it spins to maintain it's shape with the centrifugal force, where a sphere would still collapse at its poles.

  5. Fry

    July 9, 2018 at 3:27 pm

    In this video you say' we're sliding towards the great attractor' yet isn't the universe expanding and galaxies moving away from each other? How can it be both?

  6. Etheoma

    July 9, 2018 at 5:06 pm

    I wouldn't think a drogue chute would be bad though something that only increase the drag be double or tipple and then is cut in the last few seconds before landing an use boosters for the last few second, because the weight would be pretty negligible, but to increase your drag by double would be a pretty big deal.

  7. Carlos Mendez

    July 9, 2018 at 5:36 pm

    Hi Fraser, do you know how is the BFR going to land on Mars ? Is Elon going to the International Astronautical Congress this year to give us more information on BFR?

  8. Marc Quadt

    July 9, 2018 at 10:04 pm

    Hello Fraser,
    Are there any space things that make use of the Fibonacci sequence as a pattern for anything?

    In nature it's very common to find the sequence on plants and animals. Somehow nature decided it's good.

  9. vitra traeland

    July 9, 2018 at 10:21 pm

    Hi Fraser. Is it possible/practical to make some kind of GPS for space, where every "coordinate" is a sphere with radius x ? Anything moving in space would change spheres, and the expansion of space result in an ever growing x (I don`t know what gravity would do to x) Computers should be able to track this for travel and mapping purposes. Is there something in nature that forbids this? Could we use the data from known events and distances to synchronize clocks over vast distances, since every event would have a defined position in space we can all agree on, and a given time to reach the observers? I don`t think I will ever understand this. There is probably some relativistic problem..?

  10. Richard Harnden

    July 9, 2018 at 10:21 pm

    why aren't they building a second JWST in conjunction with the building of the original. if the JWST explodes on take-off or fails to deploy, there is no fallback plan.

  11. Silt

    July 9, 2018 at 11:12 pm

    I vote for dismantling Mercury first

  12. Can Konak

    July 10, 2018 at 12:05 am

    What do you think about "Nothingness is unstable" statement for a reason of The Big Bang and the beginning of the universe ?

  13. Witek Borowski

    July 10, 2018 at 7:46 am

    Regarding parachutes, space shuttle boosters used them. Everyday Astronaut just done a good video on pros and cons of both landing strategies:

  14. 3dprint live preview

    July 10, 2018 at 8:14 am

    I'd say the retroreflectors on the moon would rather be covered by dust or erroded by radiation than be accualy hit by something.

  15. shockwave103

    July 10, 2018 at 11:35 am

    One question – I thought, the local group is gravitationally bound, but now it seems like the Great Attractor. So who will win, dark energy or the great attractor?

  16. Michael Ford

    July 10, 2018 at 2:23 pm

    i have been wondering if there has been any research recently on the old NASA propulsion system called nerva

  17. Evolution Inc.

    July 10, 2018 at 2:44 pm

    As Andromeda and the Milky Way are colliding – What will happen to M33(Triangulum)? Will it settle as a satellite galaxy or will it be ejected from the local group?

  18. Lior Fuks

    July 10, 2018 at 4:33 pm

    Is there any theoreticaly possible way to observe with near future technology the surface of other planets in other solar systems? (maybe perfect alligned gravitational lensing?)

  19. Srinivas M

    July 10, 2018 at 4:40 pm

    As we know, the Hubble telescope moves very fast in space. The galaxies which are millions of light years away are also constantly moving. So how is the Hubble telescope which is a moving object able to take such good pictures of another set of moving galaxies which are so far away ?

  20. Michael Ford

    July 10, 2018 at 5:00 pm

    just a heads up student that are not in an AP program are not in the know on anything because they are not taught…in order to continue to learn thing we need to understand that our understanding of physics needs to change based of the region of space that they where involded in.

  21. Jayjaysquid YT

    July 10, 2018 at 6:53 pm

    What happens if two objects in space are the same mass and orbits each other can this be real

  22. Jakub pogubila

    July 10, 2018 at 9:10 pm

    hi i have a question …what are virtual particles?and how do they make Black hole space travel ?in theory …i just saw it on a tv show called “strip the cosmos” and was curious

  23. Christopher Brown-Floyd

    July 10, 2018 at 10:57 pm

    If an undiscovered alien race with WIFI technology lived on Planet 9 or somewhere else in our solar system, would we be able to pick it up with our radio telescopes?

  24. Ronald Eggert

    July 11, 2018 at 2:16 am

    Hey Fraser, I’ve heard people say that the earth rotates counter-clockwise around the sun. How can this possibly be ascertained being that space is…well… space. You could flip the solar system upside down (as I believe it’s flat) and make an argument that it rotates clockwise. In reality, how can there be any definitive direction in space unless you have a fixed object relative to a position and vantage point?? But isn’t it true that nothing is really fixed??? Everything is moving relative to everything else. It hurts my brain. Sorry if there is an obvious answer.

  25. The Crazy Old Coot

    July 11, 2018 at 2:18 am

    What is the refresh rate of the Universe?

  26. beaconrider

    July 11, 2018 at 4:24 am

    Perhaps we have a difficult time finding a planet 9 because it doesn't exist.

  27. John Little

    July 11, 2018 at 6:05 am

    The Lunar reflector could be dimming because of dust settling on the mirror falling down from space.

  28. datsmay

    July 11, 2018 at 10:27 am

    Has the Voyager 1 spacecraft really left the Solay System? Isn't the Oort cloud the true boundary which is another 20.000 years away?

  29. GO GREEN

    July 11, 2018 at 11:11 am

    Are there any von Neumann probe prototypes in works as of today? Or this tech is still well beyond our capacities and tech capabilities?

  30. hotpotamus

    July 11, 2018 at 4:39 pm

    Given the number of fossils of animals on earth that are easily found embedded in exposed rocks, can we conclude at this point that complex life probably never existed on Mars since no rovers have ever seen any evidence for it?

  31. The Capacitor

    July 11, 2018 at 5:29 pm

    So if your star system orbited a small black hole without a ring of ionised matter, at the right distance, you could use it as a telescope without needing to block any light right?

  32. Shahar Bhonkar

    July 11, 2018 at 8:30 pm

    Why the moon seems to be white (even during the day) even though the lunar regolith is dark grey?

  33. David Shafer

    July 11, 2018 at 11:32 pm

    What if it possible to create a “What If” machine capable of answering a “what if” question accurate to 1/10th of a plausibility unit? Feel free to farm this one out to Isaac Arthur if necessary.

  34. David Shafer

    July 11, 2018 at 11:41 pm

    We talk about creating a telescope on the side of the moon not facing Earth as a quiet place to do astronomy. I've also heard that the Hubble Space Telescope is due to be retired and pushed into a "Graveyard orbit." Could we push the Hubble to that side of the moon? It's already in space so why not push it out to the moon since its due to be retired anyway.

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New Planet

Earth As Seen From Other Planets





Footage of Earth as seen from other planets:
1.Earth from Saturn
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute
2. Earth from Mars
Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona
3. Earth From beyond Neptune
Credits: NASA / JPL
4. Earth From Mercury
Credits: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington

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New Planet

Mars Before and After Dust Storm




Side-by-side movies shows how dust has enveloped the Red Planet, courtesy of the Mars Color Imager (MARCI) camera onboard NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO).

The view from May shows Valles Marineris chasms (left), Meridiani center, an autumn dust storm in Acidalia (top) and the early spring south polar cap (bottom). The view from July shows the same regions, but most of the surface was obscured by the planet-encircling dust cloud and haze.

See NASA Feature:

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

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New Planet

The Case With Another Dimension?! – InWin 805i Unboxing




Hey I just bought a case that has a teleportation device! OMG, going to a new planet today bye!
If only it was that easy, but this case is still really freaking cool.

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