March 2, 2024

“Planet 9” may have left the solar system billions of years ago

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The research suspected the existence of an undiscovered planet in the solar system influencing Sedna's orbit. However, the search has now failed.

BRITISH COLUMBIA – Astronomers looking for an undiscovered planet? Asteroid Cetna beyond the Kuiper Belt has baffled astronomers since its discovery. Most objects this far away in our solar system are influenced by Neptune. The asteroid, which is probably a dwarf planet, did not come close to the planet. Therefore, it was assumed that an encounter with a large, unknown object “Planet 9” must have fixed Sedna in its orbit. Researchers have searched for this – without success.

Researchers are searching for “Planet 9” that could impact Sedna © UPI Photo/Imago.

Doubts about the theory of an unknown “Planet 9”.

Yukun Huang of the University of British Columbia in Canada doubts that “Planet 9” can even be found. Loud Results of his research This planet is not in our solar system, or at least not anymore. Although it is obvious that larger objects determine Sedna's orbit and the two recently discovered “Cetnoids” may have left the Solar System 4.5 billion years ago.

The researcher tests his theory. If there is no undiscovered “Planet 9”, the orbits of the Cetnoids should be stable for billions of years. They are close enough to the Sun to be unaffected by interstellar currents, while large planets do not influence their orbits.

Computer simulation aims to provide clarity on the origin

Using computer simulations, Huang recreated the universe as it was billions of years ago. Shortly after the birth of the Solar System, the three Cetnoids show a strong similarity. Their perihelion, the point in their orbits closest to the Sun, were all at the same longitude. The obverse lines of lines connecting perihelion, sun and aphelion were almost identical.

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Trans-Neptunian object Cetna Solar System Kuiper Solar System
The position of the trans-Neptunian object Cedna in our Solar System © UPI Photo/Imago

Not “Planet 9”, but an event responsible for Cedna's orbit?

All these similarities are indicative of a specific event 4 billion years ago that set the celestial bodies in their orbits. It also suggests that nothing has disturbed their orbit since then. According to Huang's research, it is impossible to find an undiscovered planet in our solar system that is responsible for the Cetnoid orbit.

Huang says it is a primordial planet that does not orbit the center of the galaxy rather than the Sun. But there is also the possibility that a star from the Sun's birth cluster could influence the orbit. As more Cetnoids are discovered, their orbits will also be traced over time to test the theory of an event. Recently, attempts have been made to explain the motions in the Kuiper Belt using gravity theory.