July 17, 2024

Is there another planet in our solar system?

Is there another planet in our solar system?

Something is wrong in the outer solar system: some celestial bodies follow strange orbits around the sun. Is Planet Nine to blame, as some scientists suspect? New studies claim to have found more evidence. What it is and what consequences it may have.

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The most important thing on planet 9

  • Astrophysicists and astrophysicists do not agree on whether they actually are All planets Found.

  • Some scholars claim: only one Huge planet Still behind Neptune Explains why a lot Pieces of ice In the Edge of the solar system I behaved very strangely.

  • However: no one has seen it yet: all the sayings are based on that Computer simulation. Many of her colleagues doubt there is one Planet Nine Give.

Planet discovery: Does Planet 9 exist?

Mike Brown’s team has discovered several Kuiper Belt celestial bodies that bend away into space as they orbit the Sun – all in the same direction. Is there a reference to Planet Nine?© California Institute of Technology/R. Hurt (IPAC)

🔭 In the early 2000s, astrophysicists Mike Brown and Konstantin Batygin discovered Six strange things In the Kuiper belt, a wide area in the outer solar system. They flew their way around the sun Huge arches Getting out into space – all that more or less same direction.

🪐 In 2012, astronomer Rodney Gomes of the Brazilian National Observatory wrote: it causes be a Unknown, Planet Nine (“P9”)Only a large celestial body could have pulled the pieces into strange orbits with its gravity.

In 2016, Brown and Batygin reported in a now-famous study that P9 should be a Ice giant He is, Ten times heavier than EarthAnd only a little smaller than neptune. Since then, the two have published more studies on the topic, most recently in April 2024.

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🌠 Mike Brown A big success In the astronomical scene. Professor at an elite American university California Institute of Technology (“CalTech”) calls itself Pluto the killerYou can learn more about this at Pluto profile.

🌍🌍🌍 But also those Defenders of P9 I still don’t agree, How big is this planet? It could be. In a 2023 study, scientists Patrick Lekaoka and Takashi Ito said their computer simulations showed it must be about One to three times the size of Earthbut 200 times farther from the sun Stay away.

✋ But other American research teams found Brown’s arguments for the existence of a ninth planet. Very one-sided. He just looks at the things he discovers. In fact, there will be orbs there All directions About the sun circle.

The body is our master: it revolves around the sun once every 10,500 years

Pictures in which our master was discovered.  The celestial body moves so slowly across the sky that its movement is barely noticeable in human time.
Pictures in which our master was discovered. The celestial body moves so slowly across the sky that its movement is barely noticeable in human time.© NASA/California Institute of Technology

Our master, one of The largest objects discovered In the Kuiper Belt it measures approx Its diameter is 1000 km And needs More than 10,500 years old To journey around the sun. And so you walk away 130 billion kilometers Of which. Hence their name: Our master is she Goddess of the icy cold sea Inuit.

Will the new giant telescope find P9?

The Vera Rubin Observatory is currently being built in Chile.
The Vera Rubin Observatory is currently being built in Chile.© Rubin Observatory/NSF/AURA/A. Pizarro D.

Astronomers hope to help one of them in the future New giant telescope. Which is under construction Vera Rubin Observatory in Chile Thanks to its 8.4-meter mirror, it is so powerful that the chances of finding P9 are increased – or even ruled out its existence.

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Exoplanets as a model for large solar orbits

This is what an exoplanet might look like with a distant star in the background.
This is what an exoplanet might look like with a distant star in the background.© NASA

Astronomers have used an example. Outside the solar system I learned that planets can exist much farther from their stars than previously observed in the solar system. Researchers reported one in a study conducted in 2000 Exoplanetswhich has its star at a distance 50 billion kilometers Circles – Ten times the distance between the Sun and Neptune.

Neptune: Panet’s latest discovery at the moment

Something was wrong with Uranus' orbit (here in a Hubble image with its rings).  Therefore, astronomers suspect the existence of another planet - Neptune.
Something was wrong with Uranus’ orbit (here in a Hubble image with its rings). Therefore, astronomers suspect the existence of another planet – Neptune.© E. Karkoschka et al. (University of Arizona), NICMOS, HST, NASA

James Challis received the maximum penalty in astronomy in 1846. Because he did not research carefully, he missed the opportunity to do so Planetary explorers To become. At the time, astronomers wondered why The last planet discovered is Uranus On one other railways He moved when he was Laws Of gravity requirements.

French Mathematician Urban Le Ferrer It is suspected that there is another one. Other planets He had to give and asked Challis to come with him telescope Search. Challis saw a point of light, but he did not compare his notes.

So he didn’t realize it. The point moved Therefore a planet It had to be. colleague Johann Gottfried Galle of the Berlin Observatory He was even more excited: on the first night of his search he found and recognized the person named Neptune. Gas giants. It was found exactly at the previously calculated location.

Image gallery: Neptune and the Kuiper Belt at the edge of the solar system

Behind it comes the Kuiper Belt.  The doughnut-shaped ring of ice and rock is between five and eight billion kilometers away.  Shown in yellow: Pluto's unusual orbit.

Behind it comes the Kuiper Belt. The doughnut-shaped ring of ice and rock is between five and eight billion kilometers away. Shown in yellow: Pluto’s unusual orbit.© NASA

Researchers suspect there are hundreds of thousands of pieces larger than 100 kilometers in diameter.

Researchers suspect there are hundreds of thousands of pieces with a diameter of more than 100 kilometers.© NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwestern Research Institute/Steve Gribbin

This is also where many comets come from, which regularly cruise through the center of the solar system and trail a tail of evaporating water behind them. Here the Churyumov-Gerasimenko (

This is also where many comets come from, which regularly wander through the center of the solar system and trail a tail of evaporating water behind them. Here Churyumov-Gerasimenko (“Churi”) was captured in 2015 by the Rosetta space probe.© ESA/Rosetta/NAVCAM

Pluto is part of the Kuiper Belt.  It is up to 7.5 billion kilometers away from the sun, and therefore cannot be seen in the night sky with the naked eye.

Pluto is part of the Kuiper Belt. It is up to 7.5 billion kilometers away from the sun, and therefore cannot be seen in the night sky with the naked eye. © NASA

What no one suspected until 1978: Pluto is actually part of a binary system.  Its moon Charon is not much smaller than Pluto.  Therefore, they circle around and always show the same side to each other, like two fighting dogs.

What no one suspected until 1978: Pluto is actually part of a binary system. Its moon Charon is not much smaller than Pluto. Therefore, they circle around and always show the same side to each other, like two fighting dogs.© NASA

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Frequently Asked Questions About Planet 9