Scientists Have Found Evidence of a 9th, Super-Earth Sized Planet

the hypothetical planet nine in front of stars lit by the far away sun

For years there has been speculation as to whether a ninth planet exists beyond the currently known threshold of our solar system. This planet has now been discovered and it’s 20,000-year orbital period may explain why we’ve had trouble finding it.

By observing the strange elliptical orbits of a number of large asteroids, scientists have determined that a massive, rocky planet must exist in the outer reaches of our solar system. They found that these asteroids have such elongated orbits beyond the Kuiper Belt, the ring of bolides beyond Neptune, that there must be a large planetary body pulling them out.

A newly discovered asteroid, 2015 BP519, added to the evidence from a group of what astronomers call Trans-Neptunian Objects, that swing out in strange directions. And though astronomers haven’t pinpointed the planet, it is the most plausible explanation for these TNOs’ orbital paths.

Theories of this Planet Nine, or what some have referred to as Nibiru, have sparked conspiracies for decades, including many apocalyptic ones that (thankfully) never came to fruition. But the latest evidence of a real ninth planet (sorry, Pluto) may shed some light on how it affects Earth.

Thought to be orbiting at 500 times the distance between the Earth and the sun, Planet Nine would be nearly two-thirds the size of Neptune, making it the fifth largest planet in the system, or roughly 10 times the size of Earth.

But this planet’s orbit is so far beyond the orbits of the other planets in our solar system, that it would take somewhere between 10,000 and 20,000 years to complete one rotation. The planet is so far away, that if you looked back at Earth from it’s aphelion, you would be seeing light that left seven days prior.

For years it has been a mystery why the inner eight planes of our solar system are tilted 6 degrees off the sun’s equator. But now the influence of Planet Nine’s orbit over the course of billions of years may be the answer.

planet nine 2

Planet Nine’s orbit in yellow and the asteroids it affects in purple courtesy nypost.com

 

The estimated size of Planet Nine would also make a lot of sense in that the majority of other solar systems we’ve observed have “super-Earth” sized planets. In fact, it’s the most common sized planet, making our solar system not so different from others out there if this new planet is confirmed.

Whether Planet Nine is currently having, or had, any significant impact on Earth remains to be seen. One of the lead proponents of its existence, Michael Brown, believes the planet poses no threat to our existence, nor does he believe it to have caused any mass extinctions in the past. The planet orbits beyond the Kuiper Belt, but within the Oort Cloud, the next big field of comets, meaning it shouldn’t dislodge and send any icy bodies on a collision course with Earth.

For now, the planet remains theoretical, but highly probable and depending on where it is in its orbit, it could be observed by an amateur or require substantial telescopes at a large observatory. Until then, the tentative discovery shows just how little we know about the surroundings in our own solar system, and how much more we have to learn about the rest of our cosmic neighborhood.

Civilization From Planet X


Professor Predicts Binary Star Collision Will Light Up Night Sky

milky way with telescope

In 2022, a binary star system will merge creating a massive explosion visible from Earth by the naked eye. Astronomers say this stellar collision in the Cygnus system will create what’s known as a red nova, in the first ever predicted collision of a binary star system.

These stars, known as KIC 9832227, are an eclipsing system, meaning they’re locked in a cosmic dance around each other, observed to have grown shorter over the past five years. The stellar companions were first observed by Calvin College professor, Lawrence Molner.

Molner is monitoring the system with a low budget and relatively small telescope to predict the stars’ collision. He says typically observations of this magnitude involve billions of dollars and teams numbering in the thousands. But rarely will a phenomenon such as this achieve that level of funding, due to the low probability of prediction accuracy.

“It’s a one-in-a-million chance that you can predict an explosion,” Molner said. “It’s never been done before.”

Though binary mergers like this have been observed before, it’s usually after the fact. If Molner’s prediction holds up it will be a first. The only other red nova to have been observed after a collision was by astronomer Romuald Tylenda, in 2008.

When the two stars eventually collide, they will produce what’s called a luminous red nova – an explosion that releases energy tantamount to all of the energy our sun will release in its entire lifetime, and it will be visible without a telescope for up to a month.

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