Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Ninth Planet..., or not

My concept of Tyche
( Since the 2006 reclassification of Pluto by the International Astronomical Union, our solar system has to make do with “only” eight planets. This situation, however, may soon change.

For over a decade, astrophysicists John Matese and Daniel Whitmire from the University of Louisiana have suggested the possibility of another planet. The two hypothesized that the odd orbital paths of some comets could be explained by the gravitational field of a ninth planet—approximately four times the size of Jupiter—in the so called Oort Cloud, which marks the boundary of our solar system about one light year from the sun. The two scientists call this, so far fictional, planet Tyche, named after the Greek god of luck.

Very exciting right? Well, not everyone thinks so…

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Route 66 Reflections and Statistics

With my journey on the Mother Road reaching its inevitable end, I would like to provide a few statistics and reflections about the trip. I believe it is a good and interesting way to end the story. But before I get to that, I would like to thank that nearly 3000 people who had visited my blog in the past few months. Your unceasing interest is what made me keep working on my journal. I sincerely hope that most of you found my work entertaining, as well as informative, and that a lot of you will be coming back in the future. Thanks!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Route 66 Journal - The Last Day

6:52 a.m.
Deer at Buckeye Flat Campground
Upon emerging from my tent, I was welcomed by a buck wandering around the campground and grazing on the shrubs as if it were the most natural thing in the world. The animal seemed almost domesticated, which of course made some sense considering the park enjoyed heavy traffic year around. Nevertheless, this did not make the sight of the unusual visitor any less exciting. Since I had never seen a wild deer from so close before, I felt it was a good sign to start the day with. I just hoped my good fortune would last for the rest of the day—perhaps even allowing me to see bears.