Gravitational "bumper cars" could put Planet Nine hypothesis on ice

Christopher Davidson
June 8, 2018

Evidence has been piling up for the existence of a ninth planet in our solar system, but no one has directly observed this supposedly super-Earth-sized body yet-instead, we've only seen its odd effects on the orbits of comets, asteroids, and other TNOs (Trans-Neptunian Objects).

The space boffin said: "There are so many of these bodies out there".

A new study by the scientists at the CU Boulder offered up a new theory for the existence of planetary oddities like Sedna-an icy minor planet that circles the sun at a distance of almost 8 billion miles. This could also be why these dwarf planets seem "detached" from the rest of the Solar System, which more or less work as a unit.

As Fleisig explains, this causes the smaller objects to amass together and generate a sufficient amount of collective gravity to impact the course of the bigger objects. Dubbed Planet Nine, this mysterious body could actually be a cluster of asteroids and other space rocks that are firing comets into the Solar System.

"We can solve a lot of these problems just by taking into account that question".

The theory was presented to the 232nd meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Denver, Colorado. How they got out there without anyone else and remains a continuous mystery.

Using computer simulations, Madigan's team came up with one possible answer.

Nadal-del Potro, Thiem-Cecchinato in French Open semifinals
The seventh seed playing in his third straight semi-final at Roland Garros, went one step better than the previous two years. Despite the defeat, a cheque for 560,000 euros ($658,000) will help ease the pain as will a move into the top 30 next week.

But instead, undergraduate astrophysics student Jacob Fleisig helped Dr Madigan envision all the different bodies outside the solar system chaotically crashing into one another.

Their observations indicate that Sedna moves slower, and being more massive, as opposed to smaller objects such as asteroids.

"These orbits crash into the bigger body, and what happens is those interaction will change its orbit from an oval shape to a more circular shape".

"You see a pileup of the orbits of smaller objects to one side of the sun", Fleisig said.

Scientists noted, "The findings may provide clues around another phenomenon: the extinction of the dinosaurs". Faced with the latter, these heavenly bodies push her away to distant regions of the Solar system.

"The picture we have in our head is a lot of little moons floating around the solar system, interacting with comets", Madigan told reporters yesterday during a news conference, notes "While we're not able to say that this pattern killed the dinosaurs, it's tantalizing", says Fleisig.

This research was supported by NASA Solar System Workings and the Rocky Mountain Advanced Computing Consortium Summit Supercomputer.

Other reports by

Discuss This Article