23 – Planet X

The theory of a large planet lurking somewhere far past Neptune has been around for a while. But just recently scientists have found some real evidence for its existence. They say there are objects in the Kuiper Belt that wouldn’t move they way they do if that planet was not there. The alleged planet is so far away that we can’t see it from here, so who knows how long it will be until we can capture a picture of it, assuming it even exists!

Real or not, how do you think Pluto feels about everyone already calling this mysterious object a planet? 😉

22 – New Horizons

NASA’s New Horizons craft has been travelling for 9 years and will be arriving tomorrow (7/14/15) at Pluto! NH will just be doing a fly by before it heads further out into the Kuiper Belt. Int he mean time, we have been getting some WONDERFUL shots of Pluto, and finally figuring out he has a bit of a reddish color (previously I colored him purple in the comic. That’s changed now).

This is super exciting and I hope you are all watching New Horizons as closely as I am!

18 – Uranus’ Tilt

Uranus is the only planet in our solar system who appears to be rolling on his side around the sun. Scientists believe that soon after Uranus’ formation, the planet was knocked sidewise by a collision with one or more large celestial bodies. If you were knocked in the head like that you might be a little “off” too!

You can read more about Uranus from NASA right HERE!

5 – Pluto’s Denial

I admit it. I am still bummed that the solar system I grew up with is not the same. Well, it IS the same, it’s just classified a bit differently. It’s still a little hard to say that we have eight planets, not nine. It’s been 6 years now, so I should just be over it, right? Well, I HAVE accepted it, I just feel a little sorry for the guy. So, of course he gets a place in Cosmical.

There are plenty of good reasons Pluto doesn’t fit in with the rest of the crew. Pluto’s orbit doesn’t lie on the same plane as all the other planets in our solar system. It’s tilted at a 17° angle. And for a portion if his orbit he’s actually closer to the Sun than Neptune is since their orbits intercept. Also, Pluto’s moon Charon is around half Pluto’s size and they, plus two tinier moons, orbit around a central point that is NOT Pluto. It’s like Pluto is running in circles chasing his tail. 😉

The big reason why Pluto isn’t a planet is because he hasn’t cleared his orbit. There’s a buch of other stuff sharing his orbit and he hasn’t dominated that orbit yet.

But I can’t obviously show any of these things in the comic. So, in Cosmical, Pluto is a cyclops. But he’s spent such a long time being accepted into the ranks of “Planet,” that he can’t really see his differences himself.

If you want to understand more about why exactly Pluto isn’t a planet then go here. There is a GREAT video to watch which should clear it all up for you.