October 26, 2021


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Simulations show you how to find evidence of an unknown planet in the solar system

Simulations show you how to find evidence of an unknown planet in the solar system

| Astronomy / Physics

Computer simulations conducted by astronomers at the University of Oklahoma show Where to look for evidence of a hypothetical ninth planet. Indirect evidence of its existence enter 5 years ago, Professors Konstantin Batygin and Mike Brown from Caltech (Caltech). Since then, new data and hypotheses have appeared about it, and the effects of Planet X – as it is also called – inspected Also in medieval manuscripts. There is even a hypothesis that it orbits in the solar system Primordial black holeNot the ninth planet.

Caltech / R. Hurt (IPAC)

Batygin and Brown suggested the existence of nine based on their study of the unusual orbits of the 6 most distant Paas Kuiper objects. In recent years, various research teams have found more Trans-Neptunian objects (TNO) – that is, outside Neptune’s orbit – whose unusual orbits can be explained by the influence of Planet Nine on them. Batygin and Brown assume that the mass of Planet X is ten times greater than that of the Earth, that it is very far from the planet Neptune, and that its orbit around the Sun lasts from 10 to 20 thousand years. It is very difficult to monitor such a thing. Remember that planets do not shine with their light. Therefore, for years, scientists have been trying to figure out where to look for the ninth in the sky.

Kaley Anderson and Nathan Cape enter In arXiv their work they modeled the evolution of the solar system. In the model, they took into account the presence of four giant planets (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune) and millions of “particles” that represent the Kuiper Belt. They simulated four billion years of solar system evolution. In part of the simulation, they took into account the presence of eight known planets, and on the other hand they added a ninth planet with different orbits to this system. In each simulation, millions of “particles” felt the impact of the planets as Neptune traveled through the disk. In the end, as a result of this process, the disk scattered and created a Merchant Belt simulation, which we can compare with the already observed beltAnderson says.

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In models responsible for the existence of Planet X, distant Kuiper belt objects tended to accumulate in orbits with a relatively shallow inclination (mile) relative to the plane of the Solar System. These objects were very far from the Sun, no closer than 40-50 astronomical units. Importantly, in simulations that included only 8 known planets, TNO accumulation did not occur in such orbits. This, in turn, suggests that if we find TNO far away in orbits with a slight inclination to the plane of the Solar System, it would be another indication that the Ninth is there.

This is a very good study that shows how to observe the consequences of an unknown large planet, says Cat Volk of the University of Arizona, who works on the Outer Solar System Origins Survey (OSSOS) project.

The scientist says that we can indeed search for TNO with orbitals described by Anderson and Kaib, but this is not easy, because such objects are very poorly visible. With the technology available at the moment, we need to find a balance between how far we can see inside the solar system and how wide the sky we can see. However, in the coming years, our observation capabilities will increase significantly thanks to the Vera C. Rubin Observatory being built in Chile, which will start operating in 2023.

It will be a revolution, as the telescope will be able to detect TNO at a distance like specialized projects such as OSSOS, and at the same time will be able to observe large areas of the sky. I think this telescope will show us many of the TNOs suggested by Anderson and Kip.

The Solar System The Ninth Planet The Tenth Planet Kuiper Belt Trans-Neptuneian Orbits

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