(ORDO NEWS) — In just a few years, people who did not find nine planets in the solar system will enter adulthood – in 2006, Pluto was lowered to a dwarf planet, and only eight full-fledged planets remained in our system.
Astronomers Mike Brown and Konstantin Batygin have suggested that a previously undiscovered ninth planet may be on the periphery of the solar system. However, the latest study did not find evidence of this.
All existing evidence for the existence of a hypothetical “Planet 9” is circumstantial. As observation technologies have improved, astronomers have mapped a large number of trans-Neptunian objects at the edge of the solar system.
According to Brown and Batygin, the accumulation of orbits of these objects is unusual, and the anomalies could be explained by the previous presence of an unknown body of large mass in this area.
In an attempt to discover a new planet, scientists have conducted several studies, but none of them have been successful so far. It is assumed that the distant world is 5 or even 10 times larger than the Earth, but even such a large object from such a distance is already barely distinguishable.
A suitable instrument for this purpose seems to be the 6-meter Atacama Cosmology Telescope located in Chile (ACT – Atacama Cosmology Telescope), designed to study cosmic background radiation in the millimeter range, but its high resolution and sensitivity are sufficient to detect such objects.
Over the past 6 years, the telescope has scanned 87% of the sky in the Southern Hemisphere. The planet, supposedly located at a distance of 400-800 times the distance from the Earth to the Sun, will be completely shrouded in darkness.
The authors of the study processed the images in an attempt to find a weak source of radiation in the millimeter range, which could be a new planet, but subsequently stated that with a 95 percent probability the object did not appear on any of them.
Astronomers urge not to lose hope. Humanity may not yet have the technology to detect the planet now, or it may be in a region inaccessible to the telescope.
On the other hand, there are other possible explanations for the anomalies in the trajectories of trans-Neptunian objects, including the behavior of these bodies themselves.
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