Researchers believe that they may have found the replacement for Pluto as the “ninth planet” after its famous and, debatable , harsh ejection by the International Astronomical Union in 2006.
“Planet Nine” could be visible from your house once found
Using supercomputer simulations, California Institute of Technology astronomers Konstantin Batygin, a theoretician, and Mike Brown, who has been credited with the discovery of a number of dwarf planets, believe that they are on to something. That something being the discovery of “Planet Nine.”
Their findings, where they believe they have found a planet (one they can’t find), were published on Wednesday in the most recent issue of Astronomical Journal.
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Thing about this discovery is…they don’t know where it is.
“It’s big enough, and probably reflective enough, that it should be relatively bright,” Brown told CBS News in a telephone interview. “We know the orbit, but we don’t know where in the orbit it is.”
There “findings” are based on the fact that the pair noticed a number of bodies in the Kuiper Belt (past the shamed Pluto from Earth) whose orbits suggest that they are influenced by a gravitation force of a planet that they believe to be ten times the size of Earth in mass. It’s distance from the sun would put its orbit over 20 times farther out that Neptune’s and would take between 10,000 and 20,000 years to complete.
Remembering that Earth makes the trip once a year gives you an idea how far out “Planet Nine” is from the sun. But again, where is this thing?
Brown counters that question with “Even at its most distant from the sun, it’s bright enough that it could be seen by at least the biggest telescopes in the world,” he said. “So it’s not hopeless, this is not something we just have to hypothesize about and you never go out and see it. I think that it will be found within five years now that we know the path in the sky to be searching.”
Brown added that even owners of powerful home telescopes will be able to see it, thing is…when is that?
First planet “discovered” since Neptune in 1846..excluding poor Pluto of course
Brown and Batygin’s studies and modeling follow the 2014 work of Scott Shepherd and Chad Trujillo, the latter a student of Brown’s, who found 13 distant Kuiper Belt bodies “sharing” and orbit.