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Welcome to the Grainger Sky Theater. We're glad you are able to join us for today’s presentation of Planet Nine.
Before we begin, please silence your phones and turn off any other devices that emit unnecessary light. Also there isn't any photography or recording allowed during the show, but feel free to do so afterward. Exits are located to your left and right, but be advised that you can't be readmitted during the show.
This show, Planet Nine, isn't a movie with a bunch of made-up effects; we'll be looking at presentations of real data; data collected by telescopes around the world and spacecraft throughout the solar system. We'll be using this 70-foot planetarium dome and 20 projectors to look at objects we are just starting to explore beyond Neptune.
This is a part of the solar system that you may not know much about. Have you heard of Jupiter or Venus? How about Eris, Sedna, or Haumea? Those aren't as well known. They're objects that orbit our Sun, and this show will help you get to know them better, and give you an idea of how we search for and study these distant objects. We'll even introduce you to an object we think exists out there that could join our family of planets. But no spoilers.
To give you an idea of how far from Earth we're going, consider the sunlight we have here on Earth. Light doesn't travel infinitely fast; it takes a while to get places in space. The Sun's light takes eight minutes to get to Earth. For that light to get to Pluto it takes about five hours. And most of these objects we're discovering are well beyond that.
So, if we send a command or message to a spacecraft out there, it might be half a day or more before we hear a response. Some spacecraft are way out there, far beyond the cozy confines of the inner solar system.
Now that we know where we're going, let's start off with a visit to our former ninth planet that everyone knows: Pluto.
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