At Least We Think So…
If Confirmed, pharmacy It Would Have 10 Times The Mass of Earth and Take 10, mind 000 to 20, seek 000 Years To Make Just One Trip Around The Sun
Two astronomers reported this week that evidence for the existence of a ninth planet in our solar system – one that’s not Pluto – is overwhelming.
The problem is that they still haven’t found it.
Nonetheless, the astronomers – Michael E. Brown and Konstantin Batygin of the California Institute of Technology – said celestial activity in the outer reaches of the solar system, namely, elliptical orbits of six small bodies that could only be explained by a large mass in the vicinity, seem to indicate the existence of this previously unknown planet.
If confirmed, the planet would have 10 times the mass of Earth, and require from 10,000 and 20,000 years to orbit the sun just once, as opposed to our planet, which gets it done in 365 days.
In a study published in the Astronomical Journal, the two astronomers said the orbits of all six bodies loop outward in the same quadrant of the solar system and are tilted at roughly the same angle. It’s possible that could occur without the presence of a large planet in the region, but the odds of that happening are about 1 in 14,000, Batygin said.
“There are some truly dominant bodies in the solar system, and they are pushing around everything else,” Dr. Brown said. “This is what we mean when we say planet.”
Brown and Batygin conducted a series of tests and calculations that all but confirm this enormous object is gravitationally herding these smaller objects into the observed orbits.
The would-be planet would possess a thick atmosphere surrounding a rocky core and have a mass 10 times that of Earth and 4,500 times that of Pluto, which for decades was considered a planet until it was downgraded by the International Astronomical Union in 2006 to a “dwarf planet,” because it lacked the gravitational pull of a full-fledged planet.
Until it was downgraded, Pluto had long been considered the furthest planet from the sun in our solar system. At its most distant, it is 7.4 billion kilometres from the sun. Brown’s and Batygin’s ninth planet would, at its closest, be around 32 billion kilometres away from the sun and 160 billion kilometres away at its farthest. By comparison, we’re just around the corner from the sun here on Earth, a mere 1.4 billion kilometres away.
Scientists around the world reacted to the findings by going into high gear to actually find the ninth planet. They have a vague idea about where is should be in the sky.
This is not the first time Brown has been at the forefront of a major astronomical discovery. Eleven years ago he discovered Eris, an object larger than Pluto in the Kuiper belt, the ring of icy debris beyond Neptune, which until now was considered to be the outermost planet in the solar system. It was Eris’s discovery that led to the downgrading of Pluto.
In recent years, scientists discovered additional objects in the Kuiper belt and beyond it. Brown and Batygin used computer simulations to try to explain the objects’ orbits, and realised that the presence of a large planet would provide, in Batygin’s words, “a beautiful match to the real data.”
In the simulations, the astronomers predicted where the objects would have to be in the presence of a large planet
“They’re exactly where we predicted them to be,” Brown said. “That’s when my jaw hit my floor. I think this is actually right.”
Brown said he thinks it could take up to five years to find the ninth planet. But he said he’s “pretty sure” it’s there.