Planet Nine?

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by obeygiant, Jan 20, 2016.

  1. obeygiant macrumors 68040

    obeygiant

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    The astronomer whose work helped kick Pluto out of the pantheon of planets says he has good reason to believe there's an undiscovered planet bigger than Earth lurking in the distant reaches of our solar system.

    That's quite a claim, because Mike Brown of Caltech is no stranger to this part of our cosmic neighborhood. After all, he discovered Eris, an icy world more massive than Pluto that proved our old friend wasn't special enough to be considered a full-fledged planet. He also introduced the world to Sedna, a first-of-its-kind dwarf planet that's so far out there, its region of space was long thought to be an empty no man's land.

    Now Brown has teamed up with Caltech colleague Konstantin Batygin to do a new analysis of oddities in the orbits of small, icy bodies out beyond Neptune. In theirreport published Wednesday in The Astronomical Journal, the researchers say it looks like the orbits are all being affected by the presence of an unseen planet that's about 10 times more massive than Earth — the size astronomers refer to as a super-Earth.

    "I'm willing to take bets on anyone who's not a believer," says Brown. He thinks existing telescopes have a shot at spotting this mystery planet in just a few years, since this new study points to a band of sky where astronomers should look.

    What's more, this planet naturally explains why the dwarf planets Sedna and Biden have weird orbits that never let them come in close to the solar system. "This wasn't something we were setting out to explain," says Brown. "This is something that just popped out of the theory."

    But there was one moment that turned Brown into a believer. Their computer simulations predicted that if this hypothetical planet existed, it would twist the orbits of other small bodies in a certain way. So Brown looked through some old data to see if any icy bodies had been discovered with those kinds of orbits — and, lo and behold, he found five of them.

    "They're objects that nobody has really explained or tried to explain before," says Brown. "My jaw hit the floor. That just came out of the blue. Being able to make a prediction and having it come true in five minutes is about as fun as it gets in science."

    Their work suggests how big the planet must be, and more or less where it could be found. Brown has already started looking. He hopes other scientists will too.

    "I want to know what it's like. I want to see that it's really there," says Brown. "It will hurt when somebody finds it and it's not me — but I assume it's going to happen, and I'm willing to feel that pain."

    NPR


    Mind boggling if this proves to be true.
     
  2. Scepticalscribe Contributor

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    #2
    Thanks for sharing - I always find this sort of thing absolutely fascinating.
     
  3. SandboxGeneral Moderator emeritus

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    #3
    I just finished reading an article on this from the NYTimes. Very intriguing and interesting. I do hope that they find and confirm another planet out there - that would be very exciting!
     
  4. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    Well, as you know, I am one of those who was miffed by the demotion of Pluto to dwarf status. However, if this is proven - and subsequently discovered - agreed - it would be tremendously exciting.
     
  5. SandboxGeneral Moderator emeritus

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    #5
    I was miffed too at Pluto's change in planetary status, mostly due to pride in my educational background and the tradition that Pluto was a planet - 'that it was always a planet and that it should always be a planet' mentality. But after a while, and much reading and listening to the scientists, I now have have to agree with their findings, definition, and re-classification of Pluto.

    That's the great thing about science, everything gets questioned, studied, and re-evaluated when new information and evidence is discovered and introduced leading to new ideas, new paths to be explored and new questions to be asked.
     
  6. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #6
    Actually, sigh, yes, I hear you. And largely agree with you.

    When reading about science, I revel in the rationality of the field, the idea of extraordinary explanations that can be supported by observation, understanding underlying principles - evidence and fact in support of an argument.

    And yes, I grew up with Pluto as a planet, too.

    I suppose that it is a rare example of the old classic 'head/heart' divide - in science, where the emotional investment and attachment is to the (former) planet Pluto whereas the evidence may suggest otherwise.

    Mind you, following the spectacular discoveries of the past summer, a part of me would love to see Pluto reinstated as a planet, irrespective of how logical - or not - that may be.
     
  7. aaronvan Suspended

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  8. obeygiant thread starter macrumors 68040

    obeygiant

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    SOMETHING COULD BE lurking at the edge of the solar system. Something big—two to four times larger than Earth—and dark. It might be a planet, slowly orbiting, and pitched away from the rest of the solar system. The only evidence comes from a half dozen dwarf planets circling the sun in strange, skewed, far-away orbits.

    The evidence might be sparse, but it is also compelling. According to new analysis in the Astronomical Journal, few things besides gravitational nudging from a large, ninth planet would explain the several dozen rogue Kuiper Belt objects with highly elliptical orbits. The hypothesis, published by a pair of CalTech researchers, says the planet is probably a gas giant that was punted out of the ecliptic plane, in which all the other planets orbit, eons ago.

    But phantom planets are nothing new. “There are dozens, if not hundreds of examples where researchers have said there must be another planet to explain some orbital anomaly,” says Mike Brown, CalTech astronomer and co-author of the new planet paper. Occasionally, the phantoms are real. In the mid-1800s, European astronomers noticed something funky in Uranus’ orbit, and posited that there might be another planet tugging on it. In a Newtonian coup, one French mathematician perfectly predicted Neptune’s position. The day after receiving the prediction in a letter, his German astronomer colleague found the planet right where it was supposed to be.


    This new planet is still just a theory. But if it does exist, it’s got a kickass origin story. Hypothetically, the planet is up to four times the size of Earth, and at closest approach, 76 times as far from the Sun—a single orbit would take between 10,000 and 20,000 years. “There wouldn’t have been enough material that far out to form something that big,” says Scott Sheppard, astronomer at the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington, DC. Instead, it probably formed in the same neighborhood as Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune.

    wired
     
  9. Tomorrow macrumors 604

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    They said the same thing about the perturbations in Uranus' and Neptune's orbits, and as far as I can remember those are still unexplained. Pluto was originally thought to be the culprit, but we learned long ago that it isn't.
     
  10. joepunk macrumors 68030

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  11. nj-morris macrumors 68000

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    I saw it, and it looks pretty crazy. I'm not sure if it would be considered a planet though. I think all planets have a cleared orbit, and with an orbital period measuring in the tens of thousands of years, I fail to believe that an area would be clear after that long. There's probably going to be a new category of systemic objects, and I'd bet that this isn't the only one. I'd keep my eyes open for more in the next few years.
     
  12. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

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    #12
    You might be surprised at how many asteroids share Jupiter's orbit.
     
  13. aaronvan Suspended

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    #13
    If it was ejected to a much higher orbit, it would still be a planet. I think. And who knows, it may have cleared out its present orbit.
     
  14. iapplelove macrumors 68040

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    I was pretty shocked this finally became public. The underground conspirists have been speaking of Planet Nibiru or Planet X for at least 5 years now.

    Supposedly it's huge, has its own sun and moons which travels along side it and passes around our sun about once every 20k years causing planetary issues (climate change, natural disasters) for any planet within a certain range.

    It has been able to be seen from earth since December 15, 2015 but since a lot more groups with high powered telescopes can see it now it's been formally introduced.

    It's coming this way for sure .
     
  15. heehee macrumors 68020

    heehee

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    Has its own sun? so there is a star going around our sun?
     
  16. iapplelove macrumors 68040

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    #16
    Yup, that's what they been saying for years now! But really who knows for sure.

    Edit: go to YouTube and search for planet Nibiru. It's been talked about for at least 5 years and now the timing is perfect.
    --- Post Merged, Jan 26, 2016 ---
    It may even have two moons
     
  17. aaronvan Suspended

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    #17
    Funny how this coincided with the new "X-Files" reboot...
     
  18. iapplelove macrumors 68040

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    #18
    That's not a coincidence. Specific tv shows have been orchestrated throughout the years to kind of spill the beans so to speak slowly to the stupid humans lol.

    And I would like to add I have never in my life have seen an episode of "X files" .
     
  19. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

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    #19
    Actually Nibiru was first described in 1976, has a 3600 year orbit, doesn't have its own sun (Which in itself would be so ridiculous that you could only cry and laugh by whackjobs that believe this), and has been debunked a billion times. Oh, and there are also aliens on it that helped spark the Sumerian civilization into glory. Confused? Yeah, but that is because you aren't wearing a tinfoil helmet to protect you against the mind controlling waves send out by the lizardmen controlling all governments.

    And back to reality.... I've followed Mike Brown the last couple of years, after taking his course on Coursera.org, on the solar system and small bodies that exist there. He's an amazing charismatic guy, and really knows his stuff well. Some people have of course come out with arguments against a planet 9, but if Mike Brown says it is there, I believe him. You can follow him on twitter (https://twitter.com/plutokiller) or the search for findplanetnine.com. :)
     
  20. iapplelove macrumors 68040

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    #20
    lol very familiar with Mr. Mike Brown and his lectures. I think he is quite knowledgable. As far as Nibiru is concerned I won't believe what you believe or anyone believes until I know more truth. To say it has a sun is just as insane to say it doesn't imo, we are not in "the know" so we can't say for sure what it is, or has.

    But the 3600 year orbit is dead wrong. It's much much longer than that, between 10-20k years
     
  21. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

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    #21
    Not really if you have just a mild understanding of physics or have any idea of what gravity is. Unless of course, your sun is made of fairy dust and defies reality.


    I am glad you have clear facts for an object that does not exist. Must be fun.
     
  22. iapplelove macrumors 68040

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    #22
    omg you mean you really believe space and science works the way it was shown to you back in middle school lol?

    wow haha
     
  23. nightcap965 macrumors 6502a

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    #23
    The orbital perturbations in the outer planets are the result of the Vogon Constructor Fleet as they build a new hyperspace bypass. It's all set out in the plans. You know, the plans that have been on file in the local planning office at Alpha Centauri for quite some time now.
     
  24. nj-morris macrumors 68000

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    #24
    Nice reference ;)
     
  25. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

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    #25
    Oh, you mean the way people have been using it to predict celestial bodies correctly for the last 300 years? Yeah, pretty much. Fairy tales doesn't really affect my life.
     

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