Our Outer Solar System is Hiding The Planet 10

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Our Outer Solar System is Hiding The Planet 10

There just might be a tenth planet in the solar system.

Artistic rendition of Planet 10. One AU is the distance between the Sun and Earth, with Pluto at about 30 AU at closest approach. Possibly even a new planet. The expectation is each of the KBO's orbital tilt angle is going to be at a different orientation though on average they would be pointing perpendicular to the plane ascertained by the sun and the big planets.

The purple orbitals shown here are all tilted almost identically away from the plane of the solar system, which was used as initial evidence for the presence of Planet X. The orange orbital here indicates the proposed location of Planet X needed to cause the tilted orbitals.

"The most likely explanation for our results is that there is some unseen mass", Kat Volk, a postdoctoral fellow at LPL and the lead author of the study, said in a statement.

Astronomers believe they have found signs of a planet with a mass between that of Earth and Mars beyond Neptune.

Researchers believe they may now be close to discovering the long sought-after planet after finding many icy celestial bodies in have a "wonky" orbit. In the latest episode, "World Enough and Time", the renegade Lime Lord Missy discovers that a certain huge colony starship actually originates from the planet Mondas. In the mid-1800s, Urbain Le Verrier and John Couch Adams calculated the position that matched that description independently. Its mass could also be anywhere in between that of Mars and Earth.

Spotting a gravitational tug from a distant world is hard. As such, no gravitational influence would be exercised upon them. This suggests the orbits are being affected by the gravity of a large mass - possibly a mysterious ninth planet. However, the most recent survey of outer worlds demonstrated that detection bias caused the clustering and scientists shut down the Planet 9 hypothesis.

If it clears its orbit to meet the definition of a planet (and actually exists) we could probably consider it Planet Nine and rename Planet Nine to Planet Ten. See, all the stuff circling a solar system tends to settle to a certain angle, what's called "the invariable plane."

If one were to think of the average orbital plane of objects in the outer solar system as a sheet, it should be quite flat past 50 AU, according to Volk. Orbits would vary a little, but the normal orientation should be near the invariable plane. It would have an orbit tilted by about eight degrees to the average plane of the known planets. Some of the most distant such formations were noted to have odd, more tilted orbits than expected. This type of shift can happen due to a gravitational tug from a larger body, and based on the data, that planet would be at least the size of Mars. And for once, it's not the James Webb Space Telescope. Different from Planet Nine, this planet maybe the size of Mars and be on the cusp of the solar system.

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