Tuesday, October 12, 2010

What name for a 10th planet did authors Douglas Adams, Larry Niven, and Arthur C. Clarke coincidentally "agree" on?

Representation of the Hitchhiker's Guide to th...Image via WikipediaI'm overloaded this week, despite it being the 31st anniversary of the publication of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Thus, today's truly trivial is another recycled Geek Trivia with a Douglas Adams bent:
The "formal" search for a 10th planet (to abuse the term loosely) began in the early 1900s when none other than Percival Lowell — the astronomer who basically bankrolled the search for the eventual discovery of Pluto — predicted that another Jupiter-esque gas giant must reside at the edge of the solar system. ... It turns out Lowell and his contemporaries just didn't have good data on Uranus and Neptune. When Voyager 2 finally did flybys of these orbs in the late 1980s, suddenly all the mathematical basis for Lowell's "Planet X" disappeared. Nonetheless, the Planet X concept was now a part of public consciousness, and an untold number of writers set about to use the "10th planet" as a plot device in their stories. ...
Still, one name seems to appear more often than most when authors and screenwriters christen a fictional Planet X. Inspired by the traditions of naming local worlds after figures from Greco-Roman mythology, several notable science-fiction scribes — including Douglas Adams, Arthur C. Clarke, and Larry Niven — coincidentally managed to "agree" on this planetary moniker.
WHAT NAME FOR A 10TH PLANET DID AUTHORS DOUGLAS ADAMS, LARRY NIVEN, AND ARTHUR C. CLARKE COINCIDENTALLY "AGREE" ON?
Get the answer here.
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