The orbit of the Ninth planet of the solar system mapped

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The orbit of the Ninth planet of the solar system mapped

The orbit of the Ninth planet of the solar system mapped

The solar system may contain not eight, but nine planets – astronomers Mike Brown and Konstantin Batygin from the California Institute of Technology made such a statement in 2016. This mysterious object is invisible to telescopes, but its gravity distorts the orbits of neighboring celestial bodies, according to the Astronomical Journal.

Over the years, scientists have looked for signs of another planet in the outer solar system, but have not been successful. In a new study, Brown and Batygin said they had mapped the alleged orbit of Planet X.

The authors studied the orbits of all known Kuiper Belt objects believed to be affected by Planet Nine. Let us remind you that the Kuiper Belt is icy bodies revolving beyond the orbit of Neptune.

Scientists analyzed the orbits of these bodies and their vibrations, indicating the presence of a large object nearby with powerful gravity. They also took into account the gravity of Neptune and tried to exclude it from their computer model.

Their observations, combined with numerical simulations, allowed them to establish the most likely orbit for Planet Nine. True, it remains unknown at what point it is located. According to astronomers, now the mysterious object has moved as far as possible from the Sun.

The mass of Planet Nine is estimated to be 6.2 Earth masses. The distance between it and the Sun is from 300 to 380 astronomical units (one AU is the distance between the Sun and the Earth). The orbital inclination is 16 degrees (for comparison, the Earth has an inclination of 0 degrees, and Pluto has 17).

Earlier it was reported that astronomers have discovered a potentially habitable planet. It lies 35 light-years from the Sun.

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