Since 1930, when American astronomer Clyde Tombaugh discovered Pluto, we have believed that the solar system contains nine planets. But in 2006, the International Astronomical Union stripped it of its planetary status and recognized it as a representative of a broader group of trans-Neptunian objects. However, scientists Patrick Sofia Likuka and Takashi Ito suggest so We may soon return to the “old” calculations, but not thanks to Pluto itself, but thanks to an entirely new planet.
As they argue in their new publication, the orbits of trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs), that is, asteroids orbiting the Sun in orbits beyond Neptune's path, It may indicate the existence of an undiscovered planet in the outer solar system. They use computer simulations to study the influence of a hypothetical Kuiper Belt planet (KBP) on the structure of TNO orbits in the distant Kuiper Belt at a distance of approximately 50 astronomical units (one astronomical unit equals 149,597,871 km).
On this basis, they determined that an Earth-like planet (1.5 to 3 Earth masses) located in a distant, tilted orbit (semi-major axis about 250-500 AU, perihelion about 200 AU) could explain three basic things: Properties of the Kuiper Belt Distant, that is, the presence of a large number of TNO objects with orbits outside the influence of Neptune's gravity, a large number of objects with high orbital inclination (>45 degrees), and the presence of objects with very unusual orbits (such as Sedna).
Therefore, astronomers expect the existence of an Earth-like planet and many TNO objects in strange orbits in the outer solar system. It is also worth emphasizing that Patrick Sofia Likuka and Takashi Ito are neither the first nor the only ones to make these studies and claims, because The potential Planet Nine, also called Planet X, has been the subject of intense searches since 2016.
All thanks to Caltech researchers and their scientific work, argued by Konstantin Batygin and Mike Brown There are 13 distant objects in the Kuiper Belt that have unusually similar orbits, which can be explained by the presence of a planet.
However, not everyone agrees on this, especially when it comes to a large planet. For example, astrophysicist Stephen Kane of the University of California, Riverside, conducted modeling to investigate how the solar system would function if another planet was added to its complex network. From gravitational connections. impact? In his opinion Perhaps our planetary system will not be able to withstand it and will simply collapse:
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