Planet Nine

My class is in the middle of an investigation of outer space right now. A pair of recent news stories has intensified their interest. This past weekend, a very bright meteor lit up the skies over D.C. One student was lucky enough to have seen it from his back yard. (Yes, I am jealous.) A couple of weeks before that, researchers from CalTech revealed evidence that there’s an undiscovered planet in our solar system, far beyond the orbits of the other eight planets. This new-to-us planet, dubbed “Planet Nine,” hasn’t been observed, but something big seems to affecting other bodies gravitationally.

There aren’t many clues as to what Planet Nine might be like. So I challenged my students to create their own renderings. Here’s what they came up with.

Photo Feb 01, 9 12 05 PM

“I think it might have a tail. I think it might be green.”

Photo Feb 01, 9 10 34 PM

“I think it has dots. And stripes.”

Photo Feb 01, 9 11 00 PM

“This is a double planet…”

Photo Feb 01, 9 11 26 PM

“I think it has fire balls…”

Photo Feb 01, 9 11 38 PM

“It has circles…”

Photo Feb 01, 9 12 19 PM

“I think it has my name…”

Photo Feb 01, 9 11 50 PM

“I think it’s rainbow colored.”

Photo Feb 01, 9 11 13 PM

“This is just a planet. It doesn’t have anything.”

Who knows; maybe one of them will be close. Of course, nature itself may very well reveal something even stranger.

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