There is a planet similar to Earth in our solar system

(ORDO NEWS) — A group of astronomers has suggested that there may be an as yet undiscovered planet similar to Earth lurking in our solar system. This intriguing possibility arose after observing the movement of objects in the Kuiper Belt – the region beyond the orbit of Neptune.

While searching for planets outside our solar system has become more feasible thanks to advances in technology, finding objects within our solar system is a more challenging task. However, by studying the motion of other objects, astronomers have made significant discoveries in the past.

Discovery of Neptune

One striking example is the discovery of Neptune, which occurred in the 19th century. Astronomer and mathematician Urbain Le Verrier noticed a discrepancy between the observed orbit of Uranus and its predicted orbit based on Newtonian physics.

Through careful calculations, Le Verrier suggested the existence of an unknown planet beyond Uranus that could explain this discrepancy. German astronomer Johann Gottfried Halle confirmed Le Verrier’s prediction by finding Neptune where it should have been.

Modeling the motion of Kuiper belt objects

In a recent study published in The Astronomical Journal, astrophysicists Patrick Sofia Lykavka and Takashi Ito analyzed the movement of objects in the Kuiper Belt. After conducting simulations, they concluded that the unusual movements of these objects could be explained by the presence of an Earth-sized planet.

The hypothetical planet would have a mass 1.5 to 3 times that of Earth and would orbit at an inclination of about 30 degrees. The researchers also suggested where to look for evidence of the existence of this planet.

Potential existence of a new population of trans-Neptunian objects

The results not only confirm the existence of this undiscovered planet, but also predict the presence of new populations of trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs) beyond 150 astronomical units (au). These populations, generated by disturbances caused by a hypothetical planet, can serve as observable signs of its existence.

Therefore, a more detailed understanding of the orbital structure in the distant Kuiper Belt could potentially confirm or rule out the presence of this planet in the outer solar system.

Difference between an Earth-like planet and “Planet 9”

It’s important to note that the proposed Earth-like planet in the Kuiper Belt is different from the hypothetical “Planet 9” that some scientists are talking about. Planet 9 is believed to be much larger and located even further out in our solar system.

The existence of both planets, if confirmed, would make significant contributions to our understanding of the dynamics and formation of the Solar System.

Dr Patrick Sophia Lykavka, one of the astrophysicists involved in the study, said: “The results of the KBP scenario confirm the existence of an as yet undiscovered planet in the distant outer solar system. Moreover, this scenario also predicts the existence of new populations of TNOs located beyond 150 au.” generated by KBP disturbances,

The discovery of new planets within our solar system has always interested scientists and astronomers. From the groundbreaking discovery of Neptune to the ongoing search for Planet 9, each new discovery adds to our knowledge of the cosmos. The ability to model and analyze the motion of Kuiper Belt objects opens up exciting possibilities for further study and understanding.


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