Planet Nine May Exist, But It Might Be Hiding Behind Neptune
by Chris Ciaccia September 3, 2018 (foxnews.com)
• NASA continues its search for “Planet Nine”. In October 2017, NASA released a statement saying “it is now harder to imagine our solar system without a Planet Nine than with one.” Scientists now believe that a 9th planet ten times the mass of Earth does exist.
• NASA estimates that Planet Nine is 20 times further from the Sun than Neptune. At 93 million miles from the Sun, it would be 160,000 times dimmer than Neptune, making it impossible to see using current technology.
• Michael Brown from the California Institute of Technology thinks Planet Nine will eventually be found, but it will take significantly stronger telescopes and planet finding technology than currently exist.
• Caltech planetary astrophysicist Konstantin Batygin notes that six Kuiper Belt objects all have elliptical orbits and are tilted downward at a 30 degree angle. Computer simulations show there are likely more objects “tilted with respect to the solar plane.”
• Planet Nine could be responsible for the 6 degree tilt of the planets in our solar system compared to the Sun’s equator.
• Also, some objects from the Kuiper Belt orbit in the opposite direction from everything else in the solar system. “No other model can explain the weirdness of these high-inclination orbits,” says Batygin. “These things have been twisted out of the solar system plane with help from Planet Nine and then scattered inward by Neptune.”
• In June 2016, Michael Brown and Konstantin Batygin published a nine-page paper entitled “Observational Constraints on the Orbit and Location of Planet Nine in the Outer Solar System”.
Evidence for Planet Nine continues to mount, but there may be a good reason why scientists have yet to find it – it may be hiding.
In October 2017, NASA released a statement saying that Planet Nine may be 20 times further from the Sun than Neptune is, going so far as to say “it is now harder to imagine our solar system without a Planet Nine than with one.”
But the reason it may not yet have been found is due to that same distance. At that distance, the equivalent, of 600 astronomical units (1 AU is defined as the distance between the Earth and the Sun, or approximately 93 million miles), it would be 160,000 times dimmer than Neptune is. Kevin Luhman, an astronomer at Pennsylvania State University, told Quanta Magazine by way of the Washington Post that at 1,000 AU, it’s a “brick wall, basically,” making any potential planet next to impossible to see using current technology.
NASA SAYS EVIDENCE FOR ‘PLANET NINE’ IS MOUNTING
However, scientists believe the possibility of another planet, one which may have “10 times the mass of Earth,” does indeed exist.
“Every time we take a picture, there is this possibility that Planet Nine exists in the shot,” Surhud More, associate professor in Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe at the University of Tokyo, told Quanta Magazine.
Slashgear reports that it could take up to 1,000 years before the planet is found.
Michael Brown from the California Institute of Technology has said he thinks “Planet Nine” will eventually be found, but it will take significantly stronger telescopes and planet finding technology than currently exist.
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