After Pluto officially ceased to be considered a planet, officially there are 8 planets left in the Solar system — mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. However a few years ago astronomers reported a strange find: they revealed completely new classes of objects, including those with mysterious orbits that are difficult to explain. In their opinion, all these asteroids and comets move in this way for a reason: all because beyond Neptune hides a giant planet that is far beyond what we see. However, most scientists have not yet been able to convince of its existence. Why? Apparently, there is no ninth planet.
A new study conducted by astronomers at the University of Pennsylvania, raises a big question about the existence of the ninth planet, writes New Scientist. Since 2014, scientists have been trying to find an explanation for the strange behavior of small celestial bodies that orbit our star outside of Neptune. They claimed that these comical objects could be affected by the gravitational pull of a huge planet with five times the mass of the Earth. Others have concluded that the ninth planet is simply a cluster of asteroids, comets, and other small celestial bodies.
However, now scientists have analyzed data obtained using visual and infrared surveys conducted at an Observatory in Chile. They found no evidence of a cluster of any “unusual TRANS — Neptunian objects” – celestial bodies outside of Neptune.
According to our data, the existence of the ninth planet has become even more unlikely, but taking into account the research of other scientists, hope, even if very small, but remains, — said the astronomer from the University of Pennsylvania.
The same scientist led another study published in March that claimed to have discovered 139 space objects in the Solar system. However, these celestial bodies are too small to be considered “correct planets”.
As we find more distant objects, their distribution becomes more uniform. There are no anomalies there.
Where is the ninth planet
Astronomers from Colorado generally believe that most models that are used to track thousands of TRANS-Neptunian objects do not take into account the mass of these objects in order to reduce the necessary computing power. In other words, all these models represent a simplified picture of the real situation. And since these objects are not affected by Neptune’s gravity, they can form clusters due to their own gravity.
TRANS-Neptunian objects are celestial bodies that are located beyond the orbit of Neptune.
According to another hypothesis, the isolation of the orbits of some TRANS-Neptunian objects can be explained by the collision with asteroids, and not by the gravitational influence of a hypothetical ninth planet.
At the same time, scientists say that in order to make sure that the ninth planet does not exist, you need to search every square kilometer of the Solar system, and this is very difficult to do. It took several thousand years before we understood how planets revolve around the Sun, and hundreds more before we discovered Uranus and Neptune. So if there is a ninth planet, it may not be found until the end of this century.
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