Something beyond Neptune

Astronomers have discovered the 9th planet of the Solar system?

Giant in the Kuiper belt

Perhaps, the ideas of humans about the Solar system far from reality. Scientists from the University of California, Michael brown and Konstantin Batygin has published a paper in which it is proved that in the Solar system there is at least one full planet .

For the first time sensational work of scientists was published in The Astronomical Journal, later it was reported by reputable scientific journals Science and Nature.

As stated in the work, a new planet, still do not have own names, was found by mathematical analysis of perturbations that experience the body the so-called “Kuiper belt” — space on the outskirts of the Solar system.

According to the calculations of brown and batygina, the ninth planet orbit is at a distance of 20 orbits from Neptune. Revolution around the Sun, this object travels in 10 – 20 thousand years. Planet, according to the findings of researchers exceeds the Land mass 10 times.

Planet see? And there she is!

According to astronomers, the planet still has not been detected because of its large distance from the Sun, however, there is hope that the latest astronomical instruments will allow to fix it in the next 5 -10 years.

The idea of the existence of ninth planet of Solar systempages after studying the movement of some previously discovered objects in the Kuiper belt. Michael brown, skeptical about such a hypothesis, together with Konstantin Batygin proceeded to a more thorough analysis of the behavior of objects in the Kuiper belt.

The result of these researches was the conclusion that the stable existence of these objects to their current orbits in the framework of the laws of celestial mechanics only possible with the existence of another planet, affect them. Moreover, this heavy planet makes possible the existence of smaller objects, a plane of rotation which is perpendicular to the plane of the Solar system.

According to brown and Batygin, in recent years in the Kuiper belt discovered at least four celestial bodies, completely fitting into their calculations.

The discoverer of born in the USSR

According to the American astronomers, a ninth planet could be pushed into far orbit, too close to a major gas giants of the Solar system — Jupiter and Saturn. It happened during the formation of the Solar system.

It should be noted that today the work of brown and batygina is only a hypothesis, which has both supporters and opponents. In the coming years, the version about the existence of the ninth planet of the Solar system got to have strong arguments in their favor, or to be conclusively refuted.

One of the authors works, the astronomer Konstantin Batygin, was born in the Soviet Union and lived in Russia until 1994, having graduate from first grade. Then, along with his parents he went to Japan, and in 1999 the family moved to the United States. Here Batygin completed secondary education and then enrolled at Caltech University. Having completed the course of training, and then graduate school, a young astronomer was engaged in scientific research.

Two of the planet for 250 years

Today, except for the planets, known since antiquity, there are only two full planets of the Solar system discovered by astronomers over the last 250 years.

In 1781 the British William Herschel discovered the seventh planet from the Sun called Uranus. In 1846, the Frenchman Urbain the Verrier discovered Neptune.

The feature of Neptune is that its existence was first calculated mathematically and then proven through regular observations. Detection of unexpected changes in the orbit of Uranus gave rise to the hypothesis of an unknown planet, the gravitational perturbing influence which they are due. Neptune was found within the predicted position.

The history of the discovery of Neptune proves that the current assumptions of brown and batygina can have a very good reason.

“Demoted” Pluto

Ninth planet existed in the Solar system in the period from 1930 to 2006. In 1930, American Clyde Tombaugh discovered planet beyond the orbit of Neptune, which was named Pluto. Initially it was assumed that it is the so-called “Planet X” that astronomers were looking for the end of the XIX century. But further studies showed that neither the size nor the mass of Pluto does not fit into the theoretical construct of scientists, who thought that at the periphery of the Solar system must exist another gas giant, not a planet smaller than Earth.

Research the second half of the twentieth century led to the discovery of the “Kuiper belt” — the area of a great number of relatively small celestial bodies beyond the orbit of Neptune, among them Pluto was one of the largest.

In 2006 the international astronomical Union for the first time gave the official definition of “planet”, which got eight of the nine planets of the Solar system except Pluto. After that, Pluto was classified as dwarf planets, what is still not agreed a number of astronomers.

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