16 for 2016: The Year in News at Caltech

During the last 12 months, Caltech researchers presented evidence of a new planet, discovered how to count molecules with a cell phone, taught machines to recognize trees, and designed telescopes that could someday assemble themselves in space. And they—alongside an international team of colleagues—announced the first-ever detection of the ripples in the fabric of spacetime called gravitational waves.

But that wasn't all. In case you missed any of the year's news, here are 16 of the most significant moments from 2016.

artistic rendering of Planet Nine
Credit: Caltech/R. Hurt (IPAC)

Evidence of a Ninth Planet

In January, Caltech researchers announced that they had found evidence of a giant planet in the outer solar system. Nicknamed Planet Nine, the object has a mass about 10 times that of Earth and would take between 10,000 and 20,000 years to make just one full orbit around the sun. The researchers discovered the planet's existence through mathematical modeling and computer simulations. Now they are refining those simulations and learning more about the planet's orbit and its influence on the distant solar system while also joining in searching the skies in hopes of observing the object directly.
Created by Judy Hill
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