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The Only Place Planet X Could Be Hiding


By SunnyPublished about a month ago 5 min read

We may be approaching a significant discovery: the identification of a substantial icy planet located beyond Neptune's orbit. Although Pluto is not the subject of this discussion, recent celestial mapping endeavors, utilizing data obtained from a telescope in Hawaii, have effectively eliminated approximately 78% of the potential locations for this enigmatic celestial body, often referred to as "Planet 9" or "Planet X" by various individuals.

The existence of Planet 9 has been a subject of debate since its initial proposal. The primary challenge lies in the lack of conclusive evidence to confirm its existence. If discovered, Planet 9 would be the fifth largest planet in our solar system, with a mass approximately 10 times that of Earth. It is theorized to possess gaseous characteristics similar to Uranus.

The initial study conducted in 2016 suggests that Planet 9 orbits the sun at a distance 29 times farther than Neptune, which is approximately 2.8 billion miles away. As a result, Planet 9 would require between 10,000 and 20,000 years to complete a single orbit around the sun.

Should this be confirmed, this yet-to-be-understood world would dominate a region larger than any other known planet in our Cosmic neighborhood. These are all intriguing hypotheses, but without a single piece of evidence or observation to support them, it is important to note that these researchers relied on complex mathematical modeling and computer simulations to speculate about the planet's characteristics. The hypothetical presence of this planet would explain various mysterious features located Beyond.

Neptune, we are discussing the Kuiper Belt, a substantial, torus-shaped region containing icy remnants from the formation of the solar system, including comets and dwarf planets such as Pluto. Notably, the six farthest objects within the Kuiper Belt exhibit elliptical orbits that share a similar orientation in physical space, tilted approximately 30 degrees downward relative to the orbital plane of our eight known planets.

It is curious to note that despite their distinct orbital velocities around the solar system, these celestial bodies maintain a remarkable alignment. The probability of such an alignment occurring randomly is exceptionally low, approximately 0.0067%. This observation has led to the postulation of Planet 9, a hypothetical massive celestial body that could provide a plausible explanation for this unusual phenomenon.

Potentially exerting gravitational influence to shape these orbits, the initial theory didn't hold up for long, facing accusations of observational bias and calculation errors. Then, in 2017, another study popped up, sparking back the idea that maybe Planet 9 is out there after all this time. Spanish astronomers tried a novel approach, focusing on observing extreme trans-Neptunian objects. These celestial bodies orbit.

The research suggests that the distances between the highly stretched elliptical paths of celestial bodies and the Sun, with average distances exceeding 13 billion miles, may provide clues to the location of Planet 99. These nodes, the points where celestial bodies' orbits intersect the solar system's plane, are significant because when these objects reach these points, they are more likely to interact with other solar system bodies. This interaction can cause significant changes in their orbits or even collisions.

If the trajectory of these extreme trans-Neptunian objects remains stable, then everything is fine. However, if it is not, then that is a sign that something else, something large, is disrupting their path. And that is exactly what the research found: there is something unseen out there that is throwing these objects off course. And that something could be a planet located at a distance between 300 and 400 times farther from the Sun than Earth. To this day, the study of the extreme trans-Neptunian objects is the strongest evidence we have for the existence of Planet 9. And if you are still not convinced by this theory, know that strange motions like these have led to planetary discoveries before. Neptune, for instance, was discovered because Uranus's motion did not quite agree with the predictions of Newtonian gravity. However, the deflection of its orbit could be explained if it was caused by the pull of an undiscovered planet. And just like that, we discovered Neptune.

Currently, in the year 2021, there has been a resurgence of interest in the potential existence of Planet 9. Recent studies have challenged previous assumptions and suggest that this enigmatic celestial body may follow an elongated, 7,000-year orbit around the Sun. This revelation has significant implications, indicating the possibility that Planet 9 could be closer than previously believed, enhancing the likelihood of its detection through telescopic observation.

Furthermore, the research posits a 99% probability that the peculiar trajectories of certain distant objects are directly attributable to the gravitational influence of this unseen planet, rather than being mere coincidences. This significantly reduces the likelihood of the entire situation being a chance occurrence, from a 1 in 10,000 probability in 2016 to a far more promising 1 in 250 chance.

These encouraging developments have fueled our collective optimism and spurred ongoing efforts to refine our observational capabilities. Researchers in Hawaii have made substantial progress in narrowing down the potential locations of Planet 9 by utilizing the Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System (Pan-STARRS). This systematic approach has effectively eliminated 78% of previously considered locations, representing a significant stride in the challenging endeavor of identifying a planet-sized entity amidst the vastness of space.

Despite the lack of concrete evidence, the existence of Planet 99 remains a compelling hypothesis among solar system enthusiasts. They firmly believe that its discovery is imminent and eagerly anticipate the moment when Earth's new cosmic companion will be unveiled. Their hopes rest upon the Vera C. Rubin Observatory, currently under construction in Chile. Scheduled to commence scientific operations in late 2025, this state-of-the-art facility will embark on an ambitious mission spanning a decade. Equipped with a 27-foot fast-moving telescope and the world's largest digital camera, the observatory will meticulously scan the entire southern hemisphere sky every few nights. This comprehensive survey aims to catalog every celestial object within our solar system, extending beyond Neptune and meticulously tracking the movements of millions of celestial bodies, including space debris.

Regarding the existence of Planet 9, the scientific community is divided. Some experts believe that a group of distant objects, such as dwarf planets, comets, and moons, could be collectively influencing the orbits of the extreme trans-Neptunian objects. Others propose that a black hole may be responsible for the strange phenomena occurring beyond Neptune. Black holes are among the densest objects in the universe.

Potentially capable of affecting the orbits of other masses, such as the hypothetical Planet 9, has been proposed. An alternative perspective suggests that our current understanding of the laws of gravity may be incomplete. This theory, known as modified Newtonian dynamics, proposes that distant icy objects exhibit unusual behavior not due to the influence of another planet, but rather because of the immense gravitational field of the Milky Way. However, even proponents of this theory acknowledge that it is premature to draw definitive conclusions, and extensive research is still necessary. While the search for Planet 9 continues, some astronomers have gone further, suggesting the existence of a hypothetical Planet 10. This world is believed to have a mass and size comparable to Mars or Earth and is located on the outskirts of the Kuiper belt.

In reference to the purported Planet 10, there is a possibility that its diminutive size may result in insufficient gravitational force to effectively clear its orbital path of debris. This situation bears similarities to the case of Pluto, which contributed to its reclassification in 2006. Therefore, it is prudent to maintain a measured level of excitement regarding Planet 10, as it may ultimately be categorized as another dwarf planet.


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