The ninth planet of the solar system
Astronomers Mike Brown and Konstantin Batygin of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena reported the discovery of an object the size of Neptune beyond Pluto’s orbit, which is 10 times heavier than Earth. The results of the search for Planet X, the authors published in The Astronomical Journal, and briefly about them tells Science News.
The planet rotates around the Sun in an elongated orbit (and in a plane inclined relative to the Earth’s orbit) with a period of 15 thousand years. Its chemical composition is similar to that of the gas giants Uranus and Neptune. According to Brown and Batygin, the object 4.5 billion years ago was knocked out of the protoplanetary disk near the Sun.
The closest distance between the Sun and the detected object is 200 astronomical units (this is seven times greater than the distance between Neptune and the luminary). The maximum removal of Planet X is estimated at 600-1200 astronomical units, which takes its orbit beyond the Kuiper belt in which Pluto is located.
The reviewer of the work of scientists in The Astronomical Journal was the planetologist Michael Brown.who, together with colleagues in 2003, discovered the dwarf planet Sedna, which has completed a complete revolution around the Sun in 11.4 thousand years. The specialist was optimistic about the chances of the discovery of Planet X by Brown and Batygin.
Scientists have discovered a new planet by analyzing the data on the gravitational perturbation it exerts on other celestial bodies. As Brown and Batygin note, astronomers will believe in their discovery when they can observe the planet through a telescope. For this, they reserved time at the Japanese Subaru Observatory in Hawaii.
Confirmation of the existence of a celestial body will take five years. In the case of discovery, the object may become the ninth planet of the solar system. Brown and Batygin estimate the probability of error at 0.007 percent. Earlier searches for Planet X in the Solar System led scientists to the discovery of Neptune (in 1864) and Pluto (in 1930).
But in 2012, according to the calculations of an astronomer from Brazil, behind the orbit of Neptune there is a fairly large space object, which can be recognized as the ninth planet.
With this assumption, made an astronomer from the Brazilian National Observatory Rodney da Silva Gomes.He drew attention to the deviation from these calculations of the orbits of six Kuiper belt objects, among which is a contender for the title of a dwarf planet - Sedna.
According to him, there are several explanations for the unusual behavior of some objects in the belt. The simplest is the existence of a large body, a planet that changes their orbits with its gravity.