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Space Heist! (Or, How to Steal a Planet)

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4.0

(1)

02/18/22 • 40 min

3 Listeners

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On December 28, 2004, CalTech astronomer Mike Brown and his colleagues found an unnamed dwarf planet drifting through the far reaches of the solar system. But before they could go public with their finding — as they were dotting their scientific i’s — a little-known team of Spanish astronomers beat them to the punch. José Luis Ortiz Moreno and Pablo Santo-Sanz announced the discovery of what turned out to be the same dwarf planet. Something seemed off, though. Users of an online astronomical message board started to ask: How could two teams on opposite sides of the world simultaneously find the same tiny rock? What they found sparked a philosophical debate that questioned the way science is done and may — or may not — have revealed one of the greatest robberies in modern-day astronomy.

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4.0

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Yukari Peerless

@yukari

Feb 20

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