New Solar System discovered - 4 ft away!... Jan 16, 2006 21:23:39 GMT -6
Post by Chicago Astronomer Joe on Jan 16, 2006 21:23:39 GMT -6
New Solar System Discovered Four Feet From Earth
PALO ALTO, CA—In what is being hailed as the most significant find in the field of planetary astronomy in decades, astronomers at the Palo Alto Observatory on Monday identified a new, previously unknown solar system approximately four feet from the Earth's surface.
The system, located directly over nearby Van Nuys, is described as "a stable, elliptical binary system with at least four major planets, including two gas giants, an asteroid belt and several moons, approximately 17 million billion miles in diameter and some four feet off the ground."
Though the global scientific community is still reeling from the magnitude of the Palo Alto team's research, efforts are underway to analyze the new planetary system using telescopic spectrographic analysis, as well as shovels, in gathering data from distances of up to 48.5 inches.
Dubbed "Proximitus Terrari," or "Right Next to the Ground," the new system proves to be Earth's nearest celestial neighbor, beating out the next-closest system, Alpha Centauri, which is only four light-years from our sun, by a distance of four light-years minus a few feet.
"Our initial studies of the new system's closest body indicate that its radiation spectrum possesses a heavy composition of boron and magnesium," Palo Alto team leader Stanislaw Lando told reporters. "Also, researchers crawling under the planet who reached up and grabbed handfuls of it report that it feels sandy, and has big purple rocks on it."
Future research projects include a NASA mission to lean a ladder against the planet and attempt a manned climb to its surface, a plan tentatively scheduled for November 1997, with a projected cost of approximately 60 bucks.
Explaining the high cost of the mission, NASA director Frank Forman said, "We'd like to get a really high-quality ladder, just to be safe."
An unrelated plan, not sponsored by NASA, has already gone into effect, with an area car dealership attaching a 20 x 40-foot vinyl banner to the planet's exterior crust, which reads, "Al Vitense Chevy-Geo Is Out Of This World!"
Full story here: www.theonion.com/content/node/30374