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How close are we to finding Planet Nine ?

Posted on Sunday, 15 October, 2017 | Comment icon 5 comments

Is there an undiscovered world in the outer solar system and if so, what is it ? Image Credit: NASA
Scientists have developed a computer simulation that defines the exact orbit and behavior of Planet Nine.
Nobody knows exactly where it is, how big it is or if it even exists at all, but when researchers at the California Institute of Technology revealed last year that the existence of a ninth planet in our solar system was a very real possibility, the hunt for this enigmatic new world began in earnest.

Believed to be up to ten times the mass of the Earth and with an orbital period of up to 20,000 years, Planet Nine, if it exists, will be situated somewhere beyond the orbit of Neptune.

There has even been speculation that this mysterious world could be a brown dwarf star which, if true, would mean that we actually live in a binary star system.

Now two planetary scientists - Konstantin Batygin and Alessandro Morbidelli - have put together a sophisticated computer simulation detailing, for the first time, the precise orbit of Planet Nine.

"I've always tried to be explicit about the fact that what we are proposing is not just the existence of a planet," said Batygin, co-author of the original paper. "Rather, it is the existence of a planet that sculpts a specific orbital pattern through a rather distinct physical mechanism."

"With our new understanding of how Planet Nine sculpts the observed patterns in the data, we have been able to zoom in on its true orbit further."

All that remains now is for someone to actually observe the planet directly.

Source: | Comments (5)

Tags: Planet Nine

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by seanjo on 15 October, 2017, 18:59
So where should we be looking?
Comment icon #2 Posted by coldmoon on 16 October, 2017, 0:25
There has been some discussion among the scientific community for a lot of years about there being the possibility of a dwarf star in the outer limits of the solar system. Don't know if I believe it or not but all I know is this story is gonna have Nibiru nutjobs going whack, saying "I told you so! Take cover!"
Comment icon #3 Posted by AZDZ on 16 October, 2017, 15:04
Check out this episode of Space's DeepestSecrets: Race To Planet 9 Or you may be able to watch it here: Or here: Or, if you get the Science Channel, they may be replaying it someday. Watch the schedule. Couple factsI remember from the show, they suspect it exists because measurements provesomethingis perturbing Kuiper Belt Trans Newtonian objects.The suspected superearth sized planet never gets closer to us tha... [More]
Comment icon #4 Posted by spud the mackem on 16 October, 2017, 16:27
I hope Voyager doesn't bump into it
Comment icon #5 Posted by paperdyer on 16 October, 2017, 19:03
Why? That would be the best thing to happen. We'd know about it way after it happened, but we'd know where to keep looking for it based on the mathematical models of the orbit.

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