Evidence that Planet Nine exists piles up

Mail Online | 5/17/2018 | Harry Pettit For Mailonline
TitanSwimr (Posted by) Level 3
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An undiscovered world may be lurking in the outer reaches of the solar system.

Astronomers have debated whether an elusive ninth planet orbits beyond Pluto for years, but a new study may finally prove the mysterious world is real.

Researchers - Rocky - Orbit - Pull - Planet

Researchers have spotted a distant rocky object that they suggest was pushed into an 'extraordinary orbit' by the gravitational pull of an uncharted planet.

They say that their finding bolsters the ever-convincing case that a so-called 'Planet Nine' exists.

Planet - Nine - Experts - Caltech - Group

Planet Nine was first theorised by experts at Caltech in 2016 when they spotted that a group of icy objects on the edges of the solar system have tilted orbits.

They suggested the orbits of these lumps of ice - so-called Trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs) - were warped by the gravitational pull of a ninth planet in the solar system.

Objects - Orbits - Direction - Degrees - Plane

The objects had elliptical orbits that pointed in the same direction and were tilted 30 degrees 'downward' compared to the plane in which planets circle the sun.

While Planet Nine has never been spotted, a number of astronomers - including scientists at Nasa - have since released research that supports the theory.

Paper - Group - Experts - University - Michigan

In a new paper a group of experts led by the University of Michigan describe a distant object that they spotted in 2014 that could be as large as a dwarf planet.

The rocky body, dubbed 2015 BP519, peaked the team's interest because its orbit is unusually tilted away from the plane that most objects that orbit the sun lie.

Computer - Simulations - System - Trajectory

They used computer simulations of the solar system to explore how this strange trajectory may have arisen.

Simulations where our star system had eight planets did not reproduce 2015 BP519's tilted orbit.

Researchers - Planet - Properties - Caltech - Researchers

When researchers added a ninth planet that matched the properties of those proposed by the Caltech researchers, the simulation reproduced 2015 BP519's current orbit almost exactly.

'It's not proof that Planet...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Mail Online
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