Five years ago, two astronomers announce They found evidence of another planet in our solar system called “Planet X”. Although it is now called Planet Nine, the cosmic body – much larger than Earth and hidden somewhere in the far reaches of the solar system – is still largely theoretical, although the pair themselves have the potential orbit they ‘she could refine. this planet.
The new research comes from Mike Brown and Konstantin Batygin of the California Institute of Technology. Brown is “the man who killed Pluto and is proud of it”, like Gizmodo Described in 2016. Currently hosted On the arXiv preprint server and accepted for publication in The Astrophysical Journal, research indicates that while Planet Nine exists, it is closer and brighter than previously thought.
Scientists suspected the existence of an unknown planet based on the dense collection of objects in the Kuiper Belt, a huge collection of frozen bodies outside of Neptune’s orbit. If an unobserved planet is hiding outside the belt, it would be the farthest orbit of all the planets around the sun, and it would take thousands of years to revolutionize (relative to orbit 164 years of Neptune, the longest of the known planets).
Just as Neptune was discovered in the 1840s when astronomers realized Uranus was being dragged by an invisible object, a handful of Kuiper Belt objects appear to cluster in the same direction in space – something that could be a random event, but some astronomers believe it is because of an unknown planet.
Other ideas have been suggested. some Do you have any suggestion This new planet is actually a ring of debris large enough to exert gravitational effects, similar to a massive planet, while others suspect Planet Nine is a primordial black hole, theoretical vestiges of the primitive universe, too small to be discovered by modern methods. Still others say that such an object does not exist.
Michelle Bannister, planetary astronomer at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand, told Gizmodo on 2017 That “Planet 9 is a good idea, it’s exciting, but it currently uses very little oxygen”, and “We have an interesting problem … and the very clear solution at the moment is called Planet 9”
The new research was more selective in the selection of included Kuiper Belt objects to determine the mass, orbit and gravity of Planet Nine. Since some of the objects in the belt have orbits affected by Neptune’s gravity, the data will be distorted. The final set of elements – 11 in total – was selected based on the researchers’ strict criteria. According to their analysis, planet nine will be just over six times the mass of Earth and will orbit the sun once every 7400 years. As the National Geographic reports.
The researchers also calculated the possibility that the orbital assembly was caused by an influence other than a massive object. They determined that there was a 99.6% chance that an object would manipulate the eye sockets of the Kuiper belt. While this is a small chance, it is actually a huge increase (1 in 250) from the 1 in 10,000 odds issued by the pair in 2016, as NatGeo points out.
At the time, Brown and Batygin believed that the planet was much bigger (10 times the mass of Earth) and that its orbit was much longer (over 10,000 years) as described in the new article. Their new guess is that planet nine should be closer to the Sun – close enough, in fact, for it to be observable by Vera Rubin-observatory, who should have First light by 2023. Fingers intertwined.
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