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Is there an unknown planet at the edge of the solar system?

Is there an unknown planet at the edge of the solar system?

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According to calculations, it is possible that there is another planet hidden in our solar system. This invisible giant floats in the cold darkness.

Frankfurt – It is known that our solar system includes eight planets. However, new calculations suggest that there may be at least a ninth planet at the edge of our solar system. Amir Siraj, an astrophysicist at Princeton University, believes that the probability of this happening is very high. The results of his calculations were published on the specialized portal Astrophysical Journal Letters published. The planet is said to be larger than Mercury, but it remains invisible because it is so different from all the other planets in our solar system.

“We have shown, based on a simple theoretical argument, that the captured terrestrial planets are likely to exist in the outer solar system,” Siraj said in his study. The outer solar system is so far from the sun that current telescopes are unable to see what is there. However, it is known that there is a field of icy rocks that extends even beyond the orbit of Neptune, the outer planet in our solar system.

According to astrophysicists, there is an unknown planet in the outer solar system

This field is called the Kuiper Belt, which contains, among other things, the dwarf planet Pluto. Even farther from the Sun, there could be a virtual Oort cloud. It is a vast spherical field of rocks surrounding the entire solar system, and its extent is not known. Long-period comets, that is, comets that take more than 100 years to orbit the sun, are thought to come from there. Siraj posits that there is at least one invisible planet, simply floating in the cold darkness of the universe.

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According to one astrophysicist's calculations, there is still at least one planet at the edge of our solar system. (Avatar) © Benassi/dpa

The astrophysicist calculates: there may be an unknown planet in the solar system

According to theoretical astrophysicist calculations, mathematically, there could be 1.2 planets with a mass five times greater than the mass of Mercury, the smallest planet in our solar system. Speculation about the discovery of so-called free planets began in 2000.

These free planets, also known as rogue planets, have broken away from their star and are floating unrestrained through the galaxy. The instability necessary for separation from the home system can easily be created by gravitational interactions. This may indicate the presence of multiple planets simply floating in space. However, how often this actually happens remains unclear.

Free planets in the universe: can the sun attract them?

However, free planets do not always remain unrestrained. When you float close enough to the star, you are attracted by its gravity. This can also be caused by the sun's gravity. It is believed that there are many free planets in the Milky Way Galaxy.

Based on these and other estimates of stars catching free planets, Siraj calculated the probability of the Sun catching planets. “Future work should include simulations that study in more detail the capture and retention of free planets, as well as planets associated with other stars,” the astrophysicist adds in his study. This would increase the probability of orbital level and location. Of the captured planets.

The editor wrote this article and then used the AI ​​language model to improve at his own discretion. All information has been carefully checked. Find out more about our AI principles here.