Paraphrasing the last monologue of the duplicate in the movie Blade Runner (1982), by Ridley Scott We could say, and it would be true, that we saw things you wouldn’t believe: bodies of ice outside the orbit of Neptune, dwarf planets, bodies moving in long orbits, orbital planes that exhibit the same angle of inclination, the perihelion extending beyond the impact Gravity of Neptune. But all this information will not be lost in time, it’s time to find out what happens: let’s talk about Planet 9 or Planet X.
Since we were children, we have known songs and dedicated them to the architecture of where we live, the solar system: a star surrounded by eight planets, the closest to the sun, Mercury, the farthest, Neptune. Most of the planets (except for Uranus and Neptune) were already known in antiquity, and in this sense we have made little progress since the invention of the telescope. However, in recent years we have found outside Neptune a series of large rocky bodies that include them as trans-Neptune objects, or Kuiper beltIn honor of the astronomer Gerard Kuiper who predicted its existence in 1951. It’s thousands of icy bodies, mostly smaller than the Iberian Peninsula (if three-dimensional) that are, quite literally, the debris of the solar system’s formation process. The Kuiper Belt contains several famous objects: one Pluto and the other Arrokoth (sky in Powhatan/Algonquian language), the most distant world closely studied by spacecraft, new Horizons.
Most of the objects in the Kuiper belt move as expected due to the mutual gravitational effect caused by the presence of the eight planets and the Sun. So far everything is fine. The problem arises because since 2004 a series of objects have been found in this region of the solar system with strange movements. It’s like looking at a moving hammock in a tree and no one else sitting, we know someone has to push it. These “rare” movements led to the hypothesis, Proposed in 2016, about the presence of an additional planet, apparently not yet discovered, outside the orbit of Neptune: colloquially known as Planet 9 or Planet X.
This is not the first time that the anomalous orbital behavior of known objects has led to a new discovery. This would not be the first time that it has led to nothing but an improved review of measures.
This is not the first time that the anomalous orbital behavior of known objects has led to a new discovery. This would not be the first time that it has led to nothing but an improved review of measures. But since we already have news every day about failure stories, we’ll focus on a success story that begins with William Herschel and his telescope discovering a new member of the solar system, Uranus in 1781. The new planet has a long orbit, 84 years, and for 60 years after its discovery, astronomers have been Excited about the new game they calculate the ephemeris (a table of values that gives the positions of astronomical bodies in the sky at one time). given) based on the location of the planets known to date. The problem was that the calculations and observations did not match, which led the French mathematician Le Verrier to propose the existence of another exoplanet in 1846 in order to explain the differences. The planet that caused the controversy was found in the same year near the expected location, and it was called Neptune.
In recent years, data on strange orbital patterns have been accumulating on some objects outside Neptune’s orbit.
With the mathematical discovery of Neptune, we toppled it and the unexplained motions of objects in the solar system continue to inspire predictions of the existence of objects often in the confines of our immediate surroundings. Thus, despite the addition of the new planet Neptune to the calculations, there are still small differences in the observed and calculated orbits of the giant planets, which motivated the search for Planet X with the construction of an observatory, Lowell Observatory, Arizona Which eventually led to the discovery of Pluto. Pluto has been a dwarf planet since 2006, and going back to the story at hand, it had a much lower mass, about 3,200 times, than Planet X they were looking for. Finally revised measurements of Neptune’s mass by the probe Voyager 2 They fixed the chaos of differences in the orbits of the giant planets and eliminated the need for a massive body within the solar system. Until a few years ago.
In recent years, data on strange orbital patterns have been accumulating on some objects outside Neptune’s orbit. They are objects moving with rectangular orbits, in ovals oriented in the same direction, in inclined planes of the same angle and with orbits, some, in opposite directions to the normal orbits. It cannot be explained by the influence of large objects that we know and suggest the existence of a planet that we have not yet seen, but which will be at a distance of 300 to 800 times from the Sun from the Earth. It would be a large planet with a mass between 5 and 10 times the mass of our planet, with a moderate inclination (15-25 degrees) and a rectangular orbit. Above all, it will be a difficult, but not impossible, planet to discover in the next decade, and the process of its formation, given its great distance from the Sun, is also a huge problem.
In that collection of scattered debris, scattered between the orbit of Neptune and the limits of the solar system, heliosphere, where he hides now, like the devil in the details, the history of the formation of the solar system, its dynamic evolution and possibly a new planet. As in life, it often happens that we do not find something we have, perhaps literally, under our noses.
Eva Villaver She is a researcher at the Center for Astrobiology of the Supreme Council for Scientific Research and the National Institute of Aerospace Technology (CAB/CSIC-INTA).
cosmic void It is a section in which our knowledge of the universe is presented in a quantitative and qualitative manner. It aims to explain the importance of understanding the universe not only from a scientific point of view but also from a philosophical, social and economic point of view. The name “cosmic vacuum” refers to the fact that the universe is, for the most part, empty, with less than one atom per cubic meter, despite the fact that in our environment, paradoxically, there are quintillion atoms per cubic meter which invites us to think about our existence and the existence of life in the universe . The section consists of Pablo J Perez GonzalezResearcher at the Center for Astrobiology. Patricia Sanchez Blasquez, Professor at the Complutense University of Madrid (UCM); And Eva VillaverResearcher at the Center for Astrobiology
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