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Satellites can reveal previously unknown “Planet 9”.

Satellites can reveal previously unknown “Planet 9”.

  • fromTanya Banner


The astronomy community has been searching for a ninth planet in the solar system for years. Now an astronomer has a new idea to find Planet 9.

HONG KONG – The astronomy community has been searching for “Planet 9” for several years. It is said to be a planet whose supposed existence is determined by researchers based on the behavior of distant objects in the solar system. According to the theory, only a previously unknown ninth planet in the solar system could explain their unusual trajectories.

Calculations show that the unknown object must have a mass between five and ten Earth masses and that it is very far out in the solar system. Planet 9 is said to be 400 to 800 times farther from the Sun than Earth. And that’s a problem when looking for an unknown celestial body: in the regions of space where the planet should be, it’s very dark because less sunlight gets there. writes about. d.

Planet 9 could be detected by possible satellites

Time and time again, it is thought that the object in question may also be very dark – a black hole, for example. Then it would be difficult to find them, because a black hole five to ten times the mass of Earth would be too small for light to escape outside.

Now the astronomer has looked at the existing data in a new light. Man Ho Chan (Educational University of Hong Kong) posits that a planet the size and mass of “Planet 9” should collect several moons with the help of its gravity even at the edge of the solar system. And they could eventually betray the planet, as they would have to heat it up to about 100 Kelvin (-173.15 degrees Celsius) through a gravitational effect called “tidal heating”.

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A particularly sensitive telescope that can detect Planet 9’s moons.

A particularly sensitive telescope like the European Southern Observatory’s ALMA radio telescope Eso can detect “warm” moons, Chan wrote in a paper that first on a prepress server ArXiv uploading has been done He has and in the magazine Astrophysical Journal must be published.

Most planets in the solar system have at least one moon — Earth currently has two, Jupiter recently has 92 known moons, and moons have been discovered around celestial bodies such as dwarf planets and asteroids. In the region of the solar system where Planet 9 is suspected, there should be many opportunities to capture smaller celestial bodies as moons. The area should be populated by many so-called trans-Neptunian objects.

Planet 9 must have at least 20 moons

By Chan’s calculation, an object with the calculated mass of “Planet 9” should have captured 20 trans-Neptunian objects 140 kilometers or larger in size such as moons. “If Planet 9 is a dark body and has a satellite system, you can directly observe possible thermal signals emitted by the satellites,” Chan wrote in his paper.

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“This would be an efficient and timely way to confirm the ‘Planet 9’ hypothesis and to verify whether or not Planet 9 is a dark object.” (unpaid bill)