LifestyleMysterious planet could be hidden in our Solar System

Mysterious planet could be hidden in our Solar System

Astronomers have found probable evidence for the existence of an Earth-like planet in the Solar System that could be orbiting the Sun in an orbit beyond Neptune.

Physicists, including those at the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, say the planet could be much closer than the hypothetical Planet Nine that is believed to exist in the far reaches of the Solar System.

Several studies in the past have suggested that an undiscovered planet likely exists beyond the Kuiper Belt, a stellar disk of materials such as asteroids, space rocks and comets around the Sun in the outer Solar System, beyond the Neptune’s orbit.

In new research, recently published in The Astronomical Journalscientists discovered that some of the Kuiper Belt objects behave in a way indicative of the presence of a small planet among them.

One of these objects is located about 500 astronomical units (AU) from the Sun, where 1 AU is the distance between the Sun and Earth.

In comparison, Neptune is located at a distance of 30 AU from the Sun.

Some of them were also found to have “strange” orbits, suggesting that they are being pulled by the gravity of a cosmic entity larger than those that typically influence these types of objects.

Computer simulations carried out by the scientists indicate that the most likely explanation for the observations was another planet hidden in the Kuiper Belt.

“We predict the existence of an Earth-like planet,” the researchers write in the study.”

“It is plausible that a primordial planetary body could survive in the distant Kuiper Belt as a Kuiper Belt Planet (KBP), since many such bodies existed in the early solar system,” they added.

If such a planet exists, researchers say it would have a mass between 1.5 and 3 times that of Earth and an inclination of about 30 degrees.

The orbit of the theorized planet would probably place it between 250 and 500 AU from the Sun.

Researchers say the discovery of such a planet near the Kuiper Belt may reveal new constraints on planet formation and evolution.

“In conclusion, the results of the KBP scenario support the existence of a yet-to-be discovered planet in the distant outer solar system,” the scientists noted.

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