Finding out about our galaxy has been a powerful human desire since time immemorial, yet we still have much more to learn about even just our own planetary system and Sun. Pluto, for example, is between 2.66 and 4.67 billion miles distant from us, depending on its orbital position. And even today, we are still unraveling this celestial body’s secrets.
It was an American, Percival Lowell, born in 1855, who first posited the existence of a planet beyond Uranus and Neptune. A wealthy businessman with a burning interest in astronomy, he spent the last years of his life, from 1906 until his death in 1916, searching for concrete evidence that what he called Planet X existed.
Lowell had both the time and the money to pursue his passion, mind you. In 1894 he’d built the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona, and this was to be a huge help in his search for Planet X. His belief was that unexplained anomalies in the positions of Uranus and Neptune must mean that an unknown planet’s gravitational pull is displacing them.