Follow us on
Welcome Guest! You are here: Home » Science & Technology
This is why Planet Nine is so far from us
Wednesday May 4, 2016 6:57 PM, Agencies

Washington: Evidence thus far may be pointing to the existence of Planet Nine, a Neptune-mass planet in an elliptical orbit 10 times farther from our Sun than Pluto, but the question as to how it ended up in such a distant orbit has baffled theorists.

New research by astronomers at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) examines a number of scenarios and finds that most of them have low probabilities. Therefore, the presence of Planet Nine remains a bit of a mystery, according to the published online in the journal Astrophysical Journal Letters.

"The evidence points to Planet Nine existing, but we can't explain for certain how it was produced," says lead author Gongjie Li.

In the new study, the team conducted millions of computer simulations to consider three possibilities for the creation of Planet Nine, the first and most likely being that a passing star is tugging Planet Nine outward. This would also create an elliptical orbit, making it the most likely explanation thus far. Even still, the probability of this scenario was only determined to be 10 percent.

The other two possibilities are even less likely: that Planet Nine is an exoplanet that originates from a passing star system, or a free-floating planet that was captured when it came into the proximity of our solar system. The probability of both of these scenarios is less than 2 percent.

Another explanation proposed by alternative research is that Planet Nine formed closer to the sun before interacting with other gas giants such as Jupiter and Saturn. Over time, a series of gravitational pushes sent the planet into the larger, more elliptical orbit.

If Planet Nine is eventually discovered, further observations will help determine which of the above scenarios is correct.

"The nice thing about these scenarios is that they're observationally testable," astronomer Scott Kenyon said. "A scattered gas giant will look like a cold Neptune, while a planet that formed in place will resemble a giant Pluto with no gas."

Share this page
More Headlines
Facebook rewards 10-year-old for discovering security flaw in Instagram
Assam Common Entrance Examination for medical students put in abeyance
Tipu Sultan: The Great Warrior and Ruler of India
Myanmar's Upper House agrees to debate proposal to end fighting in Rakhine state
RS Chairman Hamid Ansari rejects Vijay Mallya's resignation letter
US daily raises doubts if Sri Sri Ravi Shankar had ever been offered a Nobel
Nihal Bitla, the teenage face of progeria in India, dies in Telangana
Kashmir: Indian Army's Super 30 attains excellent results in JEE Mains
Unfair that Allama Iqbal is reduced to the level of few slogans: J&K Education Minister
Scientists discover three Earth-like planets with chemical traces of life
Three new species of primates discovered
Fascism In Many Hues: Attack On Judiciary
SC notice to centre, states on uploading of FIRs within 24 hours
Fugitive liquor baron Vijay Mallya resigns from Rajya Sabha
India, Pakistan were poised to sign peace treaty, but US played spoiler: Former Foreign Secretary
Stop pretending and solve real issues: Kargil war hero's daughter to India, Pakistan
Mayawati shrugs off Rahul, Priyanka as challenges for UP Chief Minister post
Sacked workers set afire Saudi Binladin buses in Makkah
Can’t allow China to 'rape' our country: Donald Trump
Fire in Dhaka’s largest wholesale market brought under control after two hours
Arab League calls emergency meeting Wednesday to discuss situation in Aleppo
Over 250 dead in nine days of bombardment in Aleppo
After petrol and diesel, non-subsidised LPG, kerosene and jet fuel rates hiked
 Post Comments
Note: By posting your comments here you agree to the terms and conditions of