With 4,826 verified planets, Kepler candidates, and the finding of a gas giant with a massive system of 160 rings, we can know quite a bit about what is out there in the galaxy. However, this is not the case. However, the cosmos enjoys throwing us off its game, and the truth is that humanity has not yet come to terms with what is contained within our very own solar system.
Everyone is familiar with Pluto, especially since it lost its status as a planet in 2006 and has been receiving a lot of attention in the media lately because of the upcoming flyby of the New Horizons probe. But are you familiar with the term “anti-Pluto,” which is occasionally used to refer to a specific object type?
Pluto and the Kuiper belt object 90482 Orcus share a nearly identical orbital period, inclination, and distance from the Sun. Orcus is located in the Kuiper belt.
Even though Orcus is aligned in a different direction than Pluto, the three planets share the same 2:3 resonance with Neptune. Not only do their orbits almost perfectly overlap one another, but both have enormous moons compared to how big they are. Orcus’ moon, Vanth, is estimated to be one-third the size of Orcus, while Charon, Pluto’s moon, is around half the size of its parent planet.
Because “Orcus” is the Etruscan translation of the Roman deity “Pluto,” this was the reason for the choice of wording. Crystalline water ice and maybe even ammonia ice cover the surface of Orcus, both of which are indications that the planet’s surface has been subjected to geological activity and cryovolcanism in the past. Orcus might be able to shed light on how other trans-Neptunian objects were formed if the hypothesis that it contains ammonia is correct.
The universe is strange; there’s no denying it. You only need to peek outside to witness a wide variety of bizarre, self-replicating plants and animals crawling on a blue ball of semi-molten rock protected by a thin, hard shell and shrouded in a flimsy layer of gases. However, the strange occurrences that can be found hiding across the cosmos are much more numerous than those on our planet, and everyday astronomers discover discoveries.
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