Astronomers determine Planet Nine orbit; could be hiding beyond Kuiper Belt

The planet is said to be located at 400 astronomical units.

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Astronomers believe, Planet Nine is located in somewhere in the region of space beyond the Kuiper Belt which is at the far side of the solar system. The planet which hasn't been seen yet, is said to be 10 times bigger than our Earth.

Astronomers determine Planet Nine orbit; could be beyond Kuiper Belt

 

The discovery of the Planet will explain why some Kuiper objects appear to be experiencing some kind of gravity from a large planet. Planet Nine was first proposed in 2016 by astronomers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech).

The Planet Nine researcher said in an interview: "If we knew exactly where it was, we wouldn't have to be inferring, we would just go look at it and say: 'Look there it is.'

"So, we don't know exactly where it is because all we know is its long-term gravitational effect on these other bodies."

Due to the huge distance involved, Planet Nine's gravity does not have an impact on any other planet, least of all Earth. Professor Brown said: "And it's a little bit less massive than Neptune."

"So, having something less massive than Neptune seven times away, means that it's something like one percent of the effect of Neptune. And Neptune hardly affects the Earth, so there's nearly no effect at all and if there were an effect on the Earth or on the Earth's orbit, it would be a lot easier to find because we have measurements of that."

The astronomers from Caltech, in a paper, discussed the existence of the Planet Nine. In support of their argument, the team presented the orbits of Kuiper Belt Objects that appear to be circling an unseen planet. The paper shows the observations that the clustering of Kuiper Belt Objects is well supported, making the team's case stronger.

The Kuiper Belt consists of rocky asteroids and other icy objects. It is located around 4,647,790,400 miles from the Sun. NASA claims there is mathematical evidence avaialble but observations still need to be made.

 

"The existence of this distant world is only theoretical at this point and no direct observation of the object nicknamed 'Planet Nine' have been made," said NASA.

Read More About: space science news

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