Astrophysicists suggest new places where Planet 9 might hide

The ninth planet imagined by the artist.

Five years ago, a pair of astronomers Announce They found evidence of another planet in our solar system, the so-called “Planet X”. Although it is now commonly referred to as Planet Nine, this cosmic object-much larger than Earth and lurking somewhere in the outer solar system-is still very theoretical, even though the same pair has now fine-tuned such a planet The possible tracks.

This new research comes from Mike Brown and Konstantin Batygin of the California Institute of Technology. Brown is “the man who killed Pluto and was proud of it”, just like Gizmodo Description of him in 2016. Currently hosted Research published on the preprint server arXiv and in the Astrophysical Journal shows that if Planet Nine exists, it will be closer and brighter than previously thought.

Scientists suspect that there is an unknown planet based on the close gathering of celestial bodies in the Kuiper Belt, which is a large area of ​​icy celestial bodies outside the orbit of Neptune. If there is an unobserved planet lurking outside the belt, it will be the farthest orbit of all planets around the sun, and it will take thousands of years to make a full revolution (compared to Neptune’s 164-year orbit, it is known The longest of the planets).

Just as astronomers discovered Neptune when Uranus was dragged by some invisible objects in the 1840s, a small number of Kuiper Belt objects seem to gather together in the same direction in space-this may be a random event, but some astronomers think Because of an undiscovered planet.

Other ideas have surfaced; some Have suggestions Planet Nine is actually a fragment ring large enough to exert a similar gravitational effect on a huge planet, while others suspect Planet Nine is a primordial black holeThe theoretical relics of the early universe are too small to be discovered by modern methods. Some people say that there is no such object.

Michele Bannister, a planetary astronomer at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand, told Gizmodo 2017 “The idea of ​​Planet 9 is an interesting idea, it’s exciting, but it needs a little oxygen at the moment,” and “We have an interesting problem… The very shiny solution at the moment is called Planet 9. .”

The new research is more critical in selecting Kuiper belt objects to determine the mass, orbit, and gravitational influence of Planet Nine. Since the orbits of some objects in the belt are affected by Neptune’s gravity, their inclusion will distort the data. The last group of subjects was selected according to the strict criteria of the researchers-11 in total. According to their analysis, the mass of Planet Nine will be a little more than six times that of the Earth, and it will circle the sun once every 7,400 years. As reported by National Geographic.

A rock in space, a Kuiper belt object 4 billion miles from the sun.

The researchers also calculated the possibility that the orbital clustering may be due to some influence other than massive objects. They determined that the probability of certain objects interfering with the orbit of the Kuiper Belt is 99.6%. As NatGeo pointed out, although this is a small opportunity, in fact, compared with the odds of 1 in 10,000 set by the two in 2016, the probability of fluke (1 in 250) has greatly increased.

At that time, Brown and Battykin believed that the planet was more massive (10 times the mass of the Earth) and had a longer orbit (exceeding the mass of the Earth). 10,000 years) Instead of what is described in the new paper. Their new assessment is that Planet Nine should be closer to the sun-in fact, it should be observed in the near future. Vila Rubin Observatory, Expected to have its The first rays of light by 2023. Fingers crossed.

More: When will we find Planet Nine?

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *