New research points to Planet Nine: There is something massive out there
Scientists searching for Planet X have found a number of new objects in the confines of the Solar System leading to believe the search for Planet X, Planet Nine may soon conclude successfully.
According to experts, the presence of these celestial bodies at extreme distances from the sun may help experts determine the exact position of the alleged, massive planet, lurking the edges of our solar system.
Last January, scientists from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in Pasadena (USA) reported their suspicions based on mathematical calculations, of the existence of a ninth world hidden in the confines of the solar system, known popularly as Planet X or Planet 9.
Even though the news stormed the world by surprise, the idea of the existence of such a planet isn’t new.
In 2014, researchers Scott Sheppard and Chad Trujillo, of the Carnegie Institution, had already pointed to the potential existence of a giant planet whose gravity affected the orbits of smaller bodies, a group of Transneptunian objects –whose orbits around the sun are beyond Neptune— that had similar orbital angles. The hypothetical planet would be several times larger than Earth and would be located some 200 times the distance from the sun.
When Sheppard and Trujillo proposed this theory, they were nearly tagged as being crazy and their hypothesis was rejected by the scientific community.
However, today their theory is reinforced by the discoveries made by their colleagues at Caltech who are searching for Planet X like never before.
While they have still not discovered the alleged massive planet, they have detected a bunch of smaller celestial bodies with anomalous orbits, located at extreme distances from the sun.
“If you want to put a number on it, I’d be somewhere like 80 percent sure that there’s a Planet X out there,” Sheppard told Space.com. “I don’t think it’s a slam dunk; it’s not 100 percent, because it’s such low-number statistics. But there are a lot of strange things that seem to be going on that would be explained quite well with there being some kind of massive planet out there.”
However, if we look back in history, we will notice that numerous other times in the past, scientists found indications that such a planet may in fact exist.
According to the Washington Post: “A heavenly body possibly as large as the giant planet Jupiter and possibly so close to Earth that it would be part of this solar system has been found in the direction of the constellation Orion by an orbiting telescope aboard the U.S. infrared astronomical satellite… ‘All I can tell you is that we do not know what it is,’ said Gerry Neugebauer, chief IRAS scientist.”
An article published in Newsweek on July 13, 1987, NASA disclosed that there may be a 10th planet orbiting our Sun. According to NASA research scientist John Anderson, Planet X might be out there, but nowhere near our planets.
The article from Newsweek states: “if he is right, two of the most intriguing puzzles of space science might be solved: what caused mysterious irregularities in the orbits of Uranus and Neptune during the 19th Century? Moreover, what killed off the dinosaurs 26 million years ago.”
While the new discoveries point to the fact that its very likely that there is in fact as massive planet lurking the outer edges of our solar system, its still to early to party. Scientists believe that our understanding of whats really happening out three, at the outer edges of our solar system is at best rudimentary.
“Objects found far beyond Neptune hold the key to unlocking our Solar System’s origins and evolution,” Sheppard explained in a statement released Monday.
“Though we believe there are thousands of these small objects, we haven’t found very many of them yet, because they are so far away. The smaller objects can lead us to the much bigger planet we think exists out there. The more we discover, the better we will be able to understand what is going on in the outer Solar System.”