“It scares me that in the year 2014, a lot of people think that hoverboards are real because of a marketing spoof video that I only assumed no reasonable person could believe to be real when I posted it. I’m almost as baffled by people that think it needs to be pointed out that it’s fake. I wonder if the latter of the two stand up in movies like Superman and say things like “Superman isn’t really flying. That’s just special effects.””—
To the list of planets orbiting distant stars, add another 715. That’s the number of planets, strewn among 305 planetary systems, popping out of the observational data from NASA’s Kepler space telescope.
“Twitter is a massively multiplayer online game in which you choose an interesting avatar and then role play a persona loosely based on your own attempting to accrue followers by repeatedly pressing lettered buttons to form interesting sentences.”—Charlie Brooker - How Videogames Changed the World
The short answer? No. Not in the way that a popular animated gif insinuates, at least.
If you’re even a casual space fan you may have seen a viral gif animation showing our solar system traveling through space, the motions of the planets tracing corkscrew “vortex” paths around a line-driving Sun. While it’s definitely intriguing to watch (in that mesmerizingly-repetitive gif fashion) and rendered with a talented flair for design, there are two fundamental problems with it. One: it’s not entirely correct, scientifically, and two: its creator’s intention is to illustrate a decidedly un-scientific point of view about the Solar System and the Universe as a whole.