November 28, 2021

Beyond Going Long

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The mysterious object visible decades ago was probably nine planets

One of the toughest questions about the solar system in the past five years has been: Is there a massive planet hiding in the cold darkness, in an orbit so wide that it could take 20,000 years to complete?

The answer turns out to be far-fetched, but a new study has uncovered traces of a mysterious hypothetical being.

astronomer Michael Rowan Robinson Imperial College London in the United Kingdom analyzed data collected by the Infrared Astronomy Satellite (IRAS) in 1983 and found three point sources that could Planet NineAnd

Rowan Robinson concludes in his preprint paper that it’s not entirely likely that it’s a true discovery, but that possibility means it can be used to model where the planet is now for more targeted research. Attempt to confirm or refute its existence.

“Due to the low quality of IRAS detection, the scanning range and the very difficult part of the sky for far-infrared detection, the probability that the filter is real is not very high.” he wroteAnd

“However, given the great interest in the Planet 9 hypothesis, it would be useful to examine whether an object in the sky region does not comply with the proposed criteria and the planetary calendar.”

Speculation about a hidden planet in the outer parts of the solar system has been raging for decades, but in 2016 it reached a new dimension when an article was published suggesting new evidence.

Caltech astronomers Mike Brown and Konstantin Batygin have found that small objects in the outer solar system’s Kuiper belt rotate strangely, as if they were pushing in a gravitational pattern of something larger.

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However, finding the thing to do is more difficult than it seems. If it were outside, it could be five to ten times the mass of Earth and orbit somewhere between 400 and 800 astronomical units (one astronomical unit is the average distance between the Earth and the Sun; Pluto, reference, about 40 astronomical units from the Sun).

This object is so far away, it’s so small and cold and probably doesn’t reflect much sunlight at all; Plus, we don’t know exactly where that sky is. So the jury decides whether it is real or not, and this topic is one of the most intense and interesting debates.

IRAS has been in operation for 10 months since January 1983, exploring 96 percent of the far-infrared sky. At this wavelength, smaller and cooler objects such as Planet Nine could be detected, so Rowan Robinson decided to re-analyze the data using the parameters corresponding to Planet Nine.

Okolo 250,000 source points They were discovered by the satellite, only three of them are of interest as candidates for the ninth planet. In June, July and September 1983, the satellite captured what appeared to be an object moving across the sky.

This is far from a dead testimonial. The region of the sky in which the source appears is at low galactic latitudes (i.e. close to the galactic plane) and is strongly affected Galactic Cyrus, fibrous clouds glow in the far-infrared spectrum. So it is possible that the source is the noise of these clouds.

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Rowan Robinson also noted that another highly sensitive survey, the Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System (RAS)Pan Stars), which has been working since 2008, in the restoration of the filter.

However, if we consider the candidate real, we can extract some information about Planet Nine. According to IRAS, it would have three to five times the mass of Earth at an orbital distance of about 225 AU.

The motion of the source in the sky also gives us an idea of ​​the planet’s likely orbit and tells us where we can see it in the sky now and where we can see it in other data, such as from Mr. -stars. .

“Dynamic studies are needed to test whether this body is compatible with the ephemeris of other bodies in the solar system and whether this body could be responsible for assembling the orbits of the dwarf planets in the Kuiper Belt,” Rowan Robinson writesAnd

“The IRAS discoveries are not of the highest quality, but it may be useful to examine them at optical and near-infrared wavelengths in a ring of radius 2.5-4°, centered in 1983. This filter could be excluded if radio or other observations were to be confirmed public. 1983 … the truth (and consistency) of IRAS resources on attitudes.

The article is available on the arXiv prepress server and has been accepted for publication in the . format Monthly announcements of the Royal Astronomical SocietyAnd